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r. w. hafnson 

hCr^stor) v^ 

Ma.nchesfer ' 

■f" Noptbn 


See Pages 1112. 



The Colouring shows Land above 600 feet high. 

The Story of 









L. W. B., 
T. K. H., 






This book has been written for the boys and girls of 
Halifax and district, with the hope also, that older 
people may find it full of interest. . I have tried to keep 
it a purely local history. It is not a new text-book of 
English history, furnished with local notes. 

Halifax has been particularly fortunate in inspiring 
a line of men who have delighted in revealing her past. 
In this twentieth century we have had a band of 
enthusiastic antiquaries, which few towns can rival. 
The Transactions of the Halifax Antiquarian Society 
have provided the bulk of the material for this work. 
Mr. John Lister, the President, has always been very 
kind to me. Mr. H. P. Kendall, who has taken so many 
of the photographs, has also helped in other ways to 
make the history more complete. Even more than their 
skill, do I value the comradeship and friendship of the 
members of our Antiquarian Society. The story of the 
book itself is as follows. From January, 1913, to 
January, 1917, I contributed a serial history of Halifax 
to "The Satchel," (the Halifax Schools' newspaper). 
Towards the end of that period, a sub-committee of the 
Head Teachers' Association invited me to re-publish the 
articles in book form. I re- wrote the matter, Messrs. 
Harris, Harwood, and Hawkins read the manuscript, and 
together we discussed the chapters in some interesting 
meetings. Mr. W. H. Ostler, the Education Secretary, 
proved to be one of my most helpful critics, and also 
helped very considerably to secure the publication of the 
book. Many years ago, Mr. Ostler said that what was 


wanted was a history that would tell " how a half-timer 
lived in the reign of Edward III.," and I have not 
altogether forgotten his dictum. 

Mr. E. Green, the Borough Librarian, has kindly 
compiled the Index. I would also thank his staff for 
their unfailing courtesy. I am indebted to several 
friends for the illustrations. Mr. Arthur Comfort has 
taken infinite pains to please me with his sketches. Mr. 
F. H. Marsden, M.A., prepared the beautiful map at the 
front of the book, and sketched the drinking trough. 
Mr. T. Broadbent drew the end map. Mr. T. F. Ford, 
A.KI.B.A. has provided two architectural plates. Mr. 
W. B. Trigg allowed me to use his sketches of the 
windows of the Parish Church. Mr. E. Bretton is 
responsible for the heraldic illustrations. For other 
blocks, I am grateful to Mrs. H. R. Oddy, Messrs. 
E. E. Nicholson, E. Hardcastle, S. C. Moore, S. H. 
Hamer, E. Marchetti, Legh Tolson, and the " Halifax 

The Halifax Antiquarian Society has very kindly 
allowed me to use their extensive collection of blocks, 
and the majority of the illustrations have been provided 
in that way. Acknowledgment is made to the various 
photographers in the book. I am grateful to many 
others whom I have not named. I have always found 
Halifax to be a " neighbourly " town, and its people 
ready to help one another. 

Lastly, I would thank the staff of Messrs. King's 
printing works for the interest they have shown in 
the work. 

T. W. H. 



Parish of Halifax — On the Pennine Slope — Woods. Farms, and Moor — 
Townships — Open Fields — Royds. 

Pages 9-19. 


Warrens and Lacys — The Manor of Wakefield — Courts held at Halifax — 
Halifax Gibbet Law. 

Pages 20-30. 


The Parish Church — Norman Carving — Lewes Priory and Gluny Abbey — 
Tithes — The Early Rectors — The 14th Century Church — Elland and Hepton- 
stall Chapels. 

Pages 30-38. 

The Elland Feud. 



Pages 38-42. 


Early Records of the Cloth Trade — The Flemings — The Black Death — 
The Poll Tax of 1379 — Surnames — Sheep Rearing— Spinning— Weaving — 
Fulling — Dyeing. 

Pages 42-53. 


The Magna Via — Timbered Houses — Shibden Hall — The House at the 
Maypole — Sunny Bank, Greetland — Rebuilding of the Parish Church — 
Vicar Wilkinson — The Tower — Halifax in 1439. 

Pages 53-78. 



The Growth of Halifax Trade — Gilds — Fairs — Ulnagers Accounts — 
1473, Halifax leads the West Riding for Cloth — Early Halifax Wills — Gifts to 
the Church — The Chapels of the Parish — Roads and Bridges — Clothes and 
Furniture — Extending the Cultivated Land. 

Pages 78-88. 


Archbishop Rokeby — Wolsey receives the Cardinal's Hat — Baptism of 
Princess Mary — Death of Rokeby — Rokeby Chapels at Kirk Sandal and 
Halifax — Dr. Robt. Holdsworth — Feud between Tempest and Savile — The 
Pilgrimage of Grace — The Monasteries Closed — -Dispute about Halifax 
Tithes — Bishop Ferrar's Martyrdom. 

Pages 89-102. 


Beacon Hill — The Puritans — Dr. Favour — Heath Grammar School — 
Sir Henry Savile — Henry Briggs — Camden's visit to Halifax — Woollen 
Trade in 16th Century. 

Pages 102-113. 


17th Century Houses — James Murgatroyd — Nathaniel Waterhouse — 
Sir Thomas Browne. 

Pages 113-137. 


Halifax men refuse Knighthood — Ship Money — Beginnings of the Civil 
War — Siege of Bradford — Leeds taken — Battle of Adwalton — Retreat to 
Halifax — Joseph Lister's Adventures — Mackworth garrisons Halifax — 
Halifax Refugees — Fighting between Heptonstall and Halifax — Mixenden 
Skirmish — Scots Army in the District — Plague — Capt. Hodgson's Adven- 
tures — Local Royalists. 

Pages 137-163. 


John Brearcliffe — 1651 Commission — HaUfax's First Member of Parlia- 
ment—The Parish Church During the Commonwealth — The last years of 
the Gibbet — The Restoration and Act of Uniformity — Oliver Heywood's 
Diaries — Archbishop Tillotson. 

Pages 164-176. 



The Cloth Halls of London and Halifax — Defoe's Visit to Halifax — Local 
Manufacturers turn from Woollen to Worsted — Sam Hill of Making Place — 
Coal Mining — Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. 

Pages 177-188. 

Cragg Coiners — -John Wesley's Visits. 


Pages 189-199. 

The Piece Hall — Wool Combing — Spinning— Weaving— Farming — Lime — 
Holmes — 18th Century Houses — " Edwards of Halifax." 

Pages 199-215. 


The Industrial Revolution — The Valleys exalted and the old Towns 
Decay — Canals — The Naming of the Hebble — Turnpike Roads — Twining's 
Picture of Calder Vale — Inn Yards — Stage Coaches — Luke Priestley's Journey 
from London to Brandy Hole — Enclosures — Foster the Essayist — Scarcitv 
of Milk — The Great Inventions — Steam Engines — Bradford outstrips Halifax. 

Pages 215-240. 


Child Slavery— Luddites — Peterloo— The Reform Act — The Chartists— 
Wm. Milner — Plug Drawing — Free Trade. 

Pages 241-257. 


Akroyd and Crossleys — Railways — The Growth of the Town — Sewers and 
Water — Incorporation of the Borough — Savile Park — Wainhouse Tower — 
F. J. Shields — P. G. Hamerton — The People's Park. 

Pages 258-272. 


F. King & Sons Ltd., Commercial Street, 

The .Story of Old Halifax. 




This Story of Old Halifax is not confined to the 
town of Halifax, but is also concerned with the tract of 
surrounding coinitiy that was formerly known as the 
Parish of Halifax The ancient parish covered that 
portion of Calder Dale lying between Todnnorden and 
Brighouse, with the tributar}'' vales and doughs, and 
the moors and hills flanking them. The whole of England 
was divided into parishes, and the centre of each parish 
was a church. Halifax Parish was one of the largest in 
the country, and the rector or vicar ot tlie parish 
churih held the religious and spiritual oversight of all 
the people who lived within that wide area of more than 
124 square miles. 

The outline of Halifax Parish is similar in shape to 
that of Yorksliire. As the maj) of the county is more 
familiar, it will be helpful to compare the two outlines 
in order to i^x in the memory the bounds of our ancient 
parish. Starting at Halifax, we go south- east to Brig- 
house, the point where the river Calder leaves the parish. 
A similar joui-ney from York would take us to Hull and 
the mouth of the Humber. From Spurn Point, going 
north, the landmarks of the Yorkshire Coast are 1^'lam- 
borough Head, Whitby, and Middlesbrough in the 
north-east corner. On the corresponding boundary of 



Halifax Parish is the beck that flows through Bailifl" 
Bridge. Norwood Green clock tower must stand for 
Flamborough Lighthouse, Queensbury Church for Whitby 
Abbey, and Soil Hill stands at (mr north-eastern corner. 
The county boundary on the north is the river Tees, from 
its mouth to its source on Mickle Fell. The northern 
line of Halifax Parish is the range of hills, dividing the 
waters of Aire and Calder, that stretch from Soil Hill to 

Jackson^ Riooc 


/ "*--. 

/ "x 



* %SoilHill 








( ^^ 


'— ■, ^^ 

^-^^ Halifax t 

^^^^ /^Houn 


\i"^ \ 







, :\ ST*tNL*KD 







Fig. 1.— Yorkshire. 

Halifax Parish. 

Boulsworth. Jackson's Ridge in the north-west is the 
highest land in the parish, and Mickle Fell is the 
corresponding angle of Yorkshire. Widdop is in just 
such another out-of-the-way corner as Sedbergh. Both 
the parish and the county march with Lancashire on the 
west. Completing our beating of the bounds, we may 
compare the positions of Stain land Moor and Fixby, to 
the districts of Sheffield and Doncaster. 

The Parish of Halifax is situated on the high slopes 
of the Pennine Range. Its people are living, as it were, 


OM the slope of a roof. The ridge of the roof is the 
boundary between the counties of York and Lancaster. 
The Lancashire slope of the roof dips towards the west 
and our slope to the east. If we drop off the eaves of the 
roof, we are on the great level York Plain, which extends 
from the foot of the Pennines to the coast. On the 
Lancashire side is a narrower stretch of level country 
between the hills and the sea. The history of Halifax is 
the story of a people living on the roof of a great house, 
while the kings and armies making the history of England 
were marching along the level streets on either side of 
the Pennine house. Halifax is quite as near to London 
as York is, and both are in the direct line to Scotland, 
according to the map. York has been the scene of many 
of the events mentioned in English history. Two of the 
Roman Emperors died in York ; Edward HI. was 
mai'ried there ; Edward IV. was crowned in the city after 
he had won the battle of Tow ton ; and Charles I. and 
many other kings visited York. How is it that the old 
kings never passed through Halifax with their armies? 
The answer to this question is that the easiest and most 
natural route between north'and south is along the plain 
and not over the hills. 

The Pennine Hills stand up like an island in the 
ocean, and from the earliest times down to our own day, 
voyagers from London to Scotland have gone round one 
side or the other of our hills. The Scotch exj)ress trains 
either go through York or Crewe, and cyclists who 
appi-eciate a level road follow the same routes. Halifax 
is off the main line. In the middle ages, the position 
meant that Halifax escaped much' of the frightfulness of 
the civil wars. The hills to the north were also a barrier 
^aijist the incursions of the Scots, who often reached 


as far south as Craven. The break m the Pennines,^ 
named the Aire Gap, guided some of the raids as near 
as Otley and Morley, but there is no record of the Scots 
penetrating into Calder Dale. The citizens of York 
were contitiually exposed to perils of the sword, there- 
fore they maintained a wall around the city to keep 
invaders at bay. Halifax never had any need of such a 
defence. The homesteads and small hamlets of Halifax 
Parish were scattered along the hill sides, as there was 
no occasion for the folks to crowd together as the 
men of Chester and York had to do. For the same 
geographical reasons there are no castles in our district 
Pontefract Castle and Sandal Castle hold positions that 
guard the narrowest gap between tlie Pen nines and the 
marshes that line the estuary of the Humber. Skipton 
Castle is the strategic key to the Aire Gap, and Lancaster 
Castle commands the western route. 'J'he district around 
Halifax cannot boast even a luined abbey, though the 
small priory at Kirklees (which had only eight nuns when 
it was closed) is just outride the boundary of the parish. 
Many of the abbeys, such as Fountains, were built in 
places " titter, to all appearances, to be a lair of wild 
beasts than a home for men," but it almost seems that 
Halifax^was too inhospitable a country even for monks. 

The tourist, finding neither walled city, castle, ruined 
abbey nor ancient battlefield within our parish, may 
judge it to be an uninteresting territory from the 
historical standpoint. Our story has little to tell about 
kings, prelates, nobles, and other bearers of famous names 
that crowd the pages of English histories. Our story is 
principally a peaceful account of turning woods and 
moorlands into fields, and of the development of the 
cloth industry in this highland corner of Yorkshire. We 


also hope to trace the steps by which Hahfax became the 
capital of this district, how it grew into a large town, 
and how other places in Upper Calder Dale have risen 
and how others have decHned. 

Whereabouts in Calder Dale were the earliest settle- 
ments planted ? When this district was first occupied and 
men could have their choice of hill and vale, which 
situations did they select for their farms and homes ? 

If we go into Luddenden Dean and take our stand at 
Jerusalem Farm, or better still, on the hillside above it, 
we get a good view-poitit from which to study the opposite 
hillside. In the bottom is the brook. From the water 
the bank rises steeply some three hundred feet and is 
wooded and overgrown with bracken, and marshy in 
places. We call that portion of the hill-side Wade Wood. 
Above the wood are fields and if we were walking up that 
bank of the dean, we should cross five or six fields and 
climb about another three hundred feet. These farms, 
known as Saltonstall, are very old, and here, over six 
centuries ago Earl Wairen had meadows and pastures for 
his cattle. The top of these fields is 1,000 feet above 
sea-level. Above the Saltonstall farm-land are the moors 
stretching away to the summit of the hill. 

The high moorland is too wild and bleak for cultivation. 
The valley bottom is too steep and wooded and difiicult 
to clear for farms. The early settlers lived on the high 
terrace, with the woods below and the moors above them. 
The hill sides therefore show three distinct bands. 
The lowest section - the steep wooded bank of the stream 
The middle section - farm land 
The hiirhest section - moorland. 

We see these three bands in the Hebden Valley very 
distinctly. First there are the woods of Hardcastle Crags. 




Above them are the Wadsworth farms, and higher again, 
the moors, hi the Calder Valley, remnants of these old 
divisions can be traced. For example, if we ascend the 
northern bank of the valley at Brearley, we find the old 
town of Midgley and its farms situated on a terrace 
between Brearley Wood and Midgley Moor. 

There are some few exceptions to this rule. Mytholm- 
royd and Copley are old settlements on the floor of the 
Calder Valley. The oldest portion of the town of Halifax 
is at the bottom of the hill, and P^lland is not more than 
a hundred feet above the water of the Calder. But, 
generally speaking, the whole of Calder Vale and the 
branch valleys showed these three aistinct bands of wood, 
farm and moor. That is the reason why most of the older 
hamlets are high "up on the hills. Bastrick, Sowerby, 
Norland, Heptonstall, lllingworth, Soyland and North- 
owram were formerly the centres of trade and population. 
This is a very important point to remember and explains 
many things that otherwise would appear strange and 
obscure. These upland situations hekl pre-eminence until 
the end of the eighteenth century. We live in the Valleys 
but our forefathers' homes were on the hills. 

The vast expanse of Halifax Parish may be measured 
on a map or calculated in tens of thousands of acres, but 
a better and more interesting way of learning its size is 
to take a few long walks across it in various directions 
Then you will know that the Bastrick man lived so far 
away from the farmer of Heptonstall that they were 
strangers rather than neighbours to one another. It 
was only natural that families grouped themselves into 
smaller divisions of the district. Indeed, these smaller 
divisions, called townships, probably • existed before the 
parish was mapped out. 


For example, take the old settlements lying around 
the crown of Bear^on Hill. The most important were at 
Blaithroyd, Stoney Royd, Backhall, Exley, Ashday. and 
Shibden Hall, and a track connecting them would make 
a ring that completely encircles the hill. The men living 
at these places were neighbours and Formed a community 
known as Southowram Township. The valley bottoms 
that separated their hill from Halifax, Elland, Rastrick, 
Hip})erholme, and Northowram were the boundaries of 
their township. Southowram is almost an island and is 
surrounded by the Hebble, Calder, Shibden Beck, and a 
small clough that has its head in Shibden Park. The 
short length from the top of this clough t*^ Charlestown 
is the only land boundaiy. The ideal township would be 
a dome-shaped island and Southowram is a good example. 
(It ought to be said that Elland Park Wood was annexed 
to Elland township as a hunting ground for Elland Hall). 

Halifax township was bounded on one side by the 
Hebble or Halifax brook, from Shaw Syke as far as Birks 
Hall. The little stream that drains from Haugh Shaw 
to Shaw Syke divided Halifax from Skircoat, and the 
small clough at Birks Hall was the boundary with 
Ovenden. At High Road Well Moor was the line between 
Halifax and Warley. Most of the houses in Halifax 
township were near the brook and not high up the hill- 
side as in most of the townships. The rivers and brooks 
formed the boundaries of the townships because the early 
settlers had no use for the low-lying lands and the valley 
bottoms were no-man's-lands. The centre of the town- 
ship was usually a hill. 

The word " village " was never used in our district. 
The English village, as a rule, consists of a compact 
cluster of farm houses and cottages, with a church and 



large manor house. The houses in our townships were 
scattered along the hill sides, where there was a cluster 
of houses, it was invariably called a town. Thus we 
have Warley Town and Sowerby Town, the main streets 
in Northowram and Midgley are Town Gates, and at 
Heptonstall you may see the name-plate "Top o' th' 

The Townships in the parish are : — 

Stansfield, Heptonstall, Wadsworth, Midgley, Warley, 
Ovenden, Skircoat, Halifax, Northowram, bouthowram, 
Slielf, and Hipperholme-cum-Brighouse on the north side 
of the^Calder. 

Langfield, Krringden, Sowerby, 8oyland, Rishworth, 
Barkisland, Norland, Stainland, Elland-cum-Greetland, 
Fixby, and Rastrick on the south side of the Calder. 

In those early days, when Halifax, Sowerby, Norland, 
Elland and other places contained very few houses, the 
men worked on lartre fields that were common to the 
township or hamlet. Each hamlet was like one farm, 
and the pi'oduce of their fields was shared among the 
inhabitants. The only relics of this old open-field system 
are a few place-names that still survive. In Halifax 
there were four or five of these large common fields. 
One was called South Field, and the way to it, South 
Field Gate, has had its name shortened to Southgate. 
There was also Blackledge-ing, and Blackledge— parallel 
to Horton Street — though it does not now bear any 
resemblance to a field, owes its name to the open field. 
A third named Sydell-ing has given its name to Seerllings 
Mount, near Akroyd Place School. There were also 
Nether Field, stretching down to the brook, and the 
North Field. At Wheatley they had a Dean Field, and 
the white-washed house, Denfield, marks the site. In 


Ellaiid there were the Low most, Middle, and High Town 
Fields, iind Victoria Road was formerly known as Town 
Field L;>ne. 

The men of the township or hamlet would hold a 
meeting to decide what crops they would grow. If they 
had three fields, the first might he for rye or wheat, the 
second, oats or barley, and the third had to lie fallow. 
They would also have a large meadow for hay. The 
word "ing" means field or meadow. Outside the fields 
were tlie connnon pastures for their fiocks and herds, and 
woods where the pigs fed. The open field was divided 
into strips or lands, and these strips w^ere about seven 
yards wnde and two hundred yards long. The length 
was a furrow-long, from which we derive the word 
"furlong." This was long before the days of standard 
measuiements, and a furlong, like other measures, varied 
in each district. Between each strip a length of 
unploughed land was left, to mark the '' lands." The 
plough had a team of eight oxen, and the whole field was 
ploughed at one time. The first strip was claimed by the 
ploughman ; the secojid by the man who provided the 
plougli ; the next two strips went to the owners of the 
principal paii* of oxen : next came the driver's turn ; and 
after him the owners of the otheT oxen, and so on. The 
same order would be gone through several times, until 
the large field was ploughed up. Each man's strips were 
scattered up and down the field. This kept the field 
common, for if a man had been allotted the first four 
strips instead of, say, Nos. 1 , 13, 29, and 40, he would 
probably have fenced his strips and made them into a 
little field of his own. 

The boyj^ of the handet had to take their turns in 
looking after the herd of cattle on the moors, or the pigs 

ROYDS. 19 

in the woods, or frightening the birds awa}^ fronj the coin. 
The cattle were thin and long-Jegged, the pigs never grew 
80 fat as ours, and sheep were kept only for their wool and 
skins. All the stock was very poor compared with modern 
cattle and the crops also were far below our standard. 
The open iiekl method of farming commenced in the 
earliest times and continued, in a fashion, until the begin- 
ning of last centui}^. 

As the number of people increased, and as some of the 
men grew richer, more land was wanted for farming. A 
new piece of the hilly land was marked out, the trees 
were cut down, and the shrubs cleared. Rocks were broken 
up, the loose stones gatheied, and a wall built up of these 
stones to fence the new land. The land was " ridded " 
or "rid" of the trees and rocks and was therefore called 
a *' riding " or *' rode." Just as boys turn the word " coal " 
into "coil," this word " rode " was pronounced " royd." 
It is a most interesting local word and royd is our own 
word for clearing. You will readily recall some place- 
names with this ending — royd. Jackroyd, Willroyd, and 
Waltroyd named from the men who lirst cleared them. 
Brookroyd, the clearing by the brook, Akroyd or oak 
clearing, High royd or Eroyd (th'ee royd), high clearing, 
Stoney royd, stony clearing, Murgatroyd or moor-gate- 
royd, tiie clearing on the way to the moor. 

The patches of royd-land fenced and enclosed from tlie 
moors or woods were called " closes." In the old days 
the word " field " referred to the large open fields. If we 
come across an old house named Field House, Field Head, 
or West Field, we may be sure that one of the common 
fields once occupied the site. 

The books and papers, mentioned at the end of each chapter, are recommended 
to those readers who wish to have fuller information on any particular 
subject. I am greatly indebted, myself, to the various writers. 

Local Illustrations of Seebohm's "English Village Community."— John 
Lister, (Bradford Anti«[uary. Vol. I). 





The earliest written records about Halifax men and 
local places, are on the court-rolls of the Earls of Warren. 
The first earl, William of Warren, was one of the chief 
men among the Norman invaders, and the chroniclers of 

Fig. 3.— FUANCE. 

the time say he was remarkably valiant. His original 
home was a castle on the river Varenne at Bellencombre, 
not far from Dieppe. He was created Earl of Surrey 
by William T., and given large tracts of English land. 
His principal castle was at Lewes in Sussex. Warren 
was one of the very few Norman lords who supported 


Kufus when the bulk of the Norman lords revolted in 
the first year of his reign, 1088. By the aid of the 
English, tfie rebels were defeated. It appears Hkely that 
the Earl Warren received the manor of Wakefield as a 
reward for his faithfulness. At the siege of Pevensey 
Castle, during the revolt, the earl was wounded in the 
leg by an arrow. He was carried to his castle at Lewes, 
where he died in 3 088. The Domesday Book, 1086, 
states that the manor was then in the hands of the King, 
William I. The entry relating to our local townships 
runs : — " Sowerby, Warley, Feslei, Midgley, Wadsworth, 
Crottonstall(?) Langfield and Stansfield." Students agree 
that tiie word Ftslei' stands for the township of Halifax. 
The actual grant of the manor of Wakefield has been 
debated by many writers, but we are I'elying on a 
charter that will be mentioned in the next chapter. The 
manor of Wakefield was a large territory which embraced 
the greater part of the parish of Halifax. In Saxon 
times the manor had belonged to Edward the Confessor. 

William, the second Earl Warren, distinguished him- 
self at the battle of Tencl^ebrai, in 1106, where Henry L, 
King of Eno;land, attacked his brother, Duke Bobert, 
nickiiamied Curt hose, llobert Curt hose was defeated 
and surrendered to Earl Warren. It was about this time, 
the beginnijig of the twelfth century, that armour-clad 
knights began to display coats-of-arms on their shields 
in order that friend or ibe could recognise them. The 
Warren shield is so simple in design, that it was probably 
one of the earliest coats-of-arms. The shield is divided 
into squares, like a draught board, with the squares 
coloured gold and blue alternately. Halifax people know 
this shield because the Corporation has used it in their 
coat-of-arms. The blue and gold checkered shield is 


displayed at the Town Hall and in the Council schools, 
and our public bodies decorate their note paper with it. 

4. — Warrkn. 

From York MitiMar. 

The townships of Southowram, Elland, and Greetland 
were included in the Honour (which means a group of 
small manors) of Pontefract and their lord of the manor 
was another great earl, Ilbert de Lacy. Previously, a 
Saxon thane named Gamel had ruled over these townships. 
These JSorman earls did not come to live in our district, 
nor did they build any castles in our parish. Both of 
their Yorkshire castles were situated at important 
strategic points between the Pennines and York on the 
great load to the north. The Warrens built Sandal 
Castle, near Wakefield, and the Lacys held Pomfret 
Castle, two famous strongholds in English military 

Part of the country about Halifax had been devastated 
in 1068, when WiUiam the Conqueror quelled the 
insurrection iu the north, and laid waste the land. In 
Domesday Book, Elland and Southowram are named, 
and these three terrible words added : — " It is waste." 
The Normans were great hunters, and Upper Calderdale 
provided a sporting estate for the Warrens, and the earls 
visited it when on hunting expeditions. They made a 
park in Erringden (from Cragg Vale to Callis Woods) 
for breeding deer. The wild boar and wolf roamed the 
hiW sides in Norman times. Roebucks, a Warlev farm, 


and the rocks known as Buckstones and Wolfstones were 
probably so named in thosa far-off liunting days. 

The lord of the manor, especially such a great man 
as the Earl of Surrey, had a large amount of power, 
more than many a king has to-day. In fact one Earl 
Warren defied the King, when Edward I. ordered the 
Treasurer of England to make full enquiries about the 
manors and liberties that were held of the king. The 
earl would not allow the officials to enter his domain, nor 
to visit Wakefield and Halifax. He also took a rusty 
sword and flung it on the Justice's table. " This, sirs, is 
my warrant," he said. " By the sword our fathers won 
their lands when they came over with the Conqueror, 
and by the sword we will keep them." • 

At the court of the lord ot the manor, grants of land 
were made to the men who wanted more soil to cultivate, 
and for each grant a fee had to be paid to the lord. 
When a man died, the court decided who was his heir, 
and again, a fine was due to the lord. In some cases the 
lord's permission had to be obtained foi- marriage, or for 
the education of a peasant^ son. The tenants had to 
plough and reap for the lord, and to provide his table 
with chickens and eggs. At the courts, fines were imposed 
for all kinds of wrong-doing, and the Wariens had also 
the power of taking a man's life for certain crimes. All 
the corn had to be ground at the manorial mills, and the 
lords also owned the mills for the fulling of cloth. 

Perhaps the best way of finding out how Halifax people 
fared at the hands of the lord of the manor, will be to 
take an imaginary peep into a manor court. In Halifax, 
the court was held at the Moot Hall. Moot is an old 
English word, meaning an assembly of the people. Near 


the north-west corner of the Parish Church there is an 
old building, now used as a joiner's shop, but which was, 
once upon a time, the Moot Hall. About the centre oi 
the wall facing the church, notice the ancient wooden 
post that supported the roof of the old timbered building, 
and which is a portion of probably the oldest house in the 
town. We will suppose that the people of Halifax, 
Sowerby, &c., are assembled in the Moot Hall on a day 
towards the end of the thirteenth century. They would 
all have to stand, for there was little or no furniture 
then. A rough table and a plain bench would serve ibr 
the lord's officers, and the remainder of the room would 
be bare. The steward of the earl of Warren presides 
over the court. We will take for example the court held 
at Hahfax on Tuesday, July 1 7th, 1286, described on the 
roll as the Tuesday before the Feast of St. Margaret the 
Virgin, for it was then customary to reckon dates from 
the church festivals instead of the calendar that we use. 
John of Warren, Earl of Surrey, was lord of the manor 
at this date. His only son, William, had been killed in 
a tournament at Croydon seven months previously, and 
William's only son, John, was quite a baby. In addition 
to the manor court for the transfer of land, etc., there 
was also held a criminal court, called a Tourn. The king 
granted to some of his principal subjects the power 
to hold these courts, and as Wakefield manor had 
once belonged to Edward the Confessor, the Warrens 
appear to have received this power in the original grant 
of the manor. In a seventeenth century deed, belonging 
to the Waterhouse Charity, a plot of land adjoining the 
Moot Hall is called " Sheriff's Tourn Close." 

Thomas Shepherd, of Holdsworth, gives sixpence for 
license to take four acres of land from K,oger, son of Peter. 


William of Saltonstall gives twelve pence, to take half 
an acre of land in Sowerby from William, son of Simon. 
Kichard, son of Adam of Wadsworth, gives 1 2s. 2d. to 
inherit his father's land. Each man promises to do the 
services due to the lord. E-og^er of Haworth is fined 
twelve pence for the escape of four cattle in Sakeldene 
in the lord's forest, and William the Geldhird has to 
answer for hunting a doe. Thomas of Langfield and 
William of the Booths pay for the court's aid in recovering 
debts. At the Tourn held the same day, we find the 
following cases. Peter Swerd had unrightfully sto])ped 
up a certain footpath between Stansfield and Mankinholes. 

By permiission of JJ/n S. Smith, Shi'fflfki City Librarian. 

Fig^ 5.— Portion of a Wakkfiki.d Court Roll, 

Halifax, July Irni, 1286. 

Thomas, son of John of Greenwood cut the purse of 
William of Midgley by night and took H)d. llichard of 
Crossley and Kichard the Tinker had di-awn blood fiora 
from one another but the tinker is pardoned because he 
did it in self-defence. John Styhog stole two oxen from 
Roger Foulmouth and is sent to York prison. William, 
son of Ivo of Warley, took two bows from strangers. 
Peter Sweid is fined a second shilling because he unjustly 
ejected Alice of the Croft from her land in Mankinholes 
and cast down her house. Avicia, wife of Thomas of 
Westwood, the wives of Nicholas of Warley, Thomaa 


the Spencer, "Ralph of 0\renden,. Robert of Lowe ; Matilda, 
wife of the Fuller, and Agnes of Ashwell are each fined 
sixpence for not sending for the ale tasters when they 
had brewed. Cecilia of Hallgate is pardoned and the wife 
of Jolin the Grave is also pardoned because she is 
favourable to the earl's bail ills. 

The manor courts of the Earl Warren were held at 
Wakefield, Kirkburton, Brighouse and Hahfax. Neither 
Brighouse nor Halifax are neai' the geographical centre 
of Halifax Parish. At this time nlso, Halifax was one 
of the least important of the townships. Towards a tax 
levied in 1284, Hipperholme paid the largest sum, 20/-. 
Halifax's share, 11/-, was the thirteenth on the list of 
nineteen townships. In 1315, six of the townships were 
fined for concealing the absence ot men summoned to the 
tourn. Halifax township was fined 3/4, Wt forgiven 
because it was poor. 

W^e may infer that the Steward of Wakefield would 
not venture any farther into the wilds than Brighouse 
and Halifax, and because Halifax was nearer to Wake- 
field by the old roads than the other townships, our 
town became the capital of the district. The records of 
the Wakefield Manor Court are kept in the Rolls OfBce 
at Wakefield. The earliest court rolls have perished, 
but there are some that are over six hundred years old. 
The early rolls are made of skins stitched together, thirty 
or forty feet long, and rolled up like a piece of wall-paper. 
Later rolls are in five feet lengths, made f loin about a dozen 
skms. These large skins are stitched together like the 
leaves ot a book and the whole rolled up. The entries are 
written in Latin and can still be read, and parts of the 
rolls have been copied, translated and printed. 


As time went on, the services due to the lord from 
his tenants were not paid in actual labour, but money 
was given as rent in place of work. This great change 
took place earlier in the large Wakefield manor than in 
smaller manors. It was very inconvenient for the men 
of lUingworth or Norland to journey to Wakefield to 
work on the lord's home farm for a day or so. On the 
other hand, the earls had more labour than they needed. 
It suited both parties to transform the services into a 
sum of money. This arrangement gave more freedom to 
the men of Halifax parish. So long as they paid their 
rents they were at liberty to employ their time as they 
thoucrht best, and were not at the beck and call of their 
lord. The tenants of the Warrens had to follow him to 
war, but we know very little as to how many from this 
district went with the earls on the Scottish campaigns. 
Richard of Exley was at Dunfermline with Edward I. in 
1303, when William Wallace was defeated. Richard 
had killed William of Ashday, and he received a royal 
pardon for the murder because of his distinguished 
conduct as a soldier. 

The manor of Wakefield was gradually split up into 
small manors. These smaller manors, in most cases, 
comprised a township. There was a manor court of 
Ovenden held at Lee Bridge; at Hipperholme, the men 
met under a thorn tree. Some local houses and lands 
were given to the order of Knights of St. John of 
Jerusalem, who helped and sheltered pilgrims to the 
Holy land. Tenants of these lands were not obliged to 
grind their corn at the lord's mill, nor to do suit at his 
court. These privileges continued even after the order 
of St. John had been suppressed. Many of these old 
houses still display the double cross of the knights, as. 


for instance, Field House Shibden, Coley Hall and 
Holdsvvoitb House. 

The Wariens, like some other great Norman lords, 
had the royalty — as it was named — gianted by the king, 
to execute thieves and other criminals who were caught 
within the bounds of their manor. From this grant the 
Halifax gibbet law grew and the custom survived in 
Halifax long after the royalty of the Warrens had become 
obsolete. Tradition says that the harsh law was continued 
in order to protect the cloth trade, for it was so easy to 
steal the kerseys i'rom the tenter-frames. A jury was 
formed of sixteen men. If they found that the prisoner 
was caught with the stolen goods in his possession, or if 
he confessed to the theft, and if the stolen goods were 
valued at thirteen pence or more, the culprit was sentenced 
by this local jury to be beheaded. Under the feudal 
system, there were no paid officials of the manor courts, 
to correspond wilh our modern policemen or sheriffs' 
officers, but each tenant, in turn, had to serve in the 
various duties. There was not much difficulty in persuading 
a jury to sentence a man to death, for human life was oi 
small value in those days. The difficulty arose in finding 
a hangman. When the population amounted to no more 
than a few score people, no man cared to be branded as 
the hangman among his neighbours. 

An old story, told by Thomas Deloney in the 
sixteenth century, relates how Hodgekins, a Halifax 
clothier, caught Wallis and two more thieves, and brought 
them to the gallows. Hodgekins chose one of his 
neighbours, a very poor man, to play the hangman^a 
part, but he would not by any means do it, tiiough he 
would have been well paid. Then one, whose cloth liad 
been stolen, was commanded to act, but in like manner 


he wo'uld not, saying : " When I have the skill to make 
a man, I will hang a man, if it chance my workmanship 
does not suit me." And thus from one to another the 
post was offered and refused. At last a rogue came by 
whom they would have compelled to have done the deed. 
'* Nay, my masters, not so" said he, *' You cannot compel 
me." Then one proposed that Hodgekins himself, who 
had most loss, should take the office. " No, not I," quoth 
Hodgekins, " though my loss were ten times greater than 
it is." At last, liberty was promised to the thief who 
would hang the others, but as they were loyal to each 
other, they had to be released, and thus they escaped 
the death penalty. A gray friar came upon Hodgekins 
while he was in the dumps over this business, and he 
said that, with the help of a carpenter, he would make a 
gin that would cut off their heads without man's help. 
Hodgekins went up to court and told tlie king that the 
privilege of Halifax for hanging thieves Wcis not worth 
a pudding because they could not get a hangman to truss 
the thieves. However, a friar had invented a machine 
that dispensed with the hangman, and his majesty allowed 
Halifax men to use the new gibbet. 

Although the story is not literally true, there is an 
element of truth embodied in it. In other parts of England 
all kinds of dodges were tried to g^t over the difficulty of 
finding a hangman. At Romney, the bailiff found the 
gallows and rope, while the proseCvitor had to find the 
hangman. If he could not find one. and if he would not do 
that same office himself, he was put in prison with the felon 
and kept there until he was prepared to hang the 
condemned man. The Halifax gibbet did not need a 
hangman. All that was necessary was to pull out the 
pin that held the axe aloft. Then it slid down the grooves 


of the tall posts, on to the culprit's neck. If it was ^ case 
of stealing a horse or a sheep, the animal was yoked to 
the pin and set the axe in motion. 

Warren and Lacy in the *• Dictionary of National Biography." 

"The Making of Halifax"— John Lister in H. Ling lioth's "York»liire 
Coiners and Old Halifax." 

Wakefield Court KoU?", I, H, III in Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record 

"Halifax Gibbet Law" — JoHN LrsTER in Halifax Anti(iuarian Society 
Transactions, 1910. 




If we enter the Parish Church by the south porch and 
walk across the church to the opposite door, we notice 
that the north wall is built of rough stones of all shapes 
and sizes. Among this rubble there is one small stone 
that has an interesting story to tell. You will find it at 
the left hand lower corner of the western window. The 
stone is carved with zig-zag or herring-bone lines, called 
a chevron pattern. Soldiers' stripes are chevrons. The 
style of the carving indicates that it was chiselled in the 
twelfth century. Therefore, we know that before this 
wall was built, a smaller Norman church was pulled 
down and this particular stone, out of the older church, 
was picked up and used by the masons who built this 
wall. There are a few more similar chevron stones 
scattered about the walls of the present church. Frag- 
ments of a plain moulding of the same date appear in the 
upper part of the north wall. 



W« will dip a little further back into the dim past, 
before we take up the story of the Norman church. 

ff^flCnnEinroF n^i^/naK Work 

P»V]L-r^j^AP ih(mo»<^ 

Fig. 6.— Chevron Sponr and 15th Century Capitals. 

Because a portion of Halifax tithes was paid to the vicar 
of Dewsbury, we may certainly say that our district was 


once part of the ancient Saxon parish of Dewsbury, and 
presume that the gospel was preached among our hills 
before any church was erected here. 

The first mention of Halifax Church is to be found m 
documents relating to a gift made by Earl Warren to the 
Priory of Lewes of several Yorkshire churches, including 
Halifax church. Mr. Lister has discovered a copy of a 
charter that recites the original grant. It appears that 
when the priory church at Lewes was dedicated (about 
1095) the second earl confirmed this gilt of Yorkshire 
churches. Hence, we know that Hahfax church was 
granted between 1086 and 1095. Documents at that 
time were not dated but the names of the witnesses also 
help to fix these dates. The second earl again confirmed 
the gift about the year 1116. 

The Priory of St. Pan eras at Lewes, in Sussex, was 
the first settlement in England of the black-robed monks 
of Cluny. The first Earl Warren and his wife had intended 
to make a pilgrimage to E,ome but, owing to the war 
between the Pope and Emperor, they had to be content 
with visiting some of the monasteries of France, and they 
made a long stay at the Abbey of Cluny, near the Swiss 
border. Some time later the earl was crossing the Channel 
in one of the small vessels of those days, wlien a storm 
arose and the boat was in great peril. Earl Warren vowed 
that if they were brought safely to land he would found 
an abbey. In fulfilment of his vow, he invited the monks 
of Cluny to come to Lewes and, in 1077, a prior and 
twelve monks made their home there. The earl further 
enriched the Piiory of Lewes by the gift of Yorkshire 
churches. The monks also received, out of the manor of 
Wakefield, the manors of Halifax and Heptonstall. The 
rents and fines connected with the land of Halifax and 

Halifax parish church. 33 

Heptonstall were to be paid to the prior instead of to the 
lord of the manor of Wakefield. The prior now held a 
little manor court for Halifax and Heptonstall, but the 
Warrens still held courts for the tbrest-law cases and what 
we should call "police-court cases." 

In addition to the manorial rents of Halifax and 
Heptonstall townships, the church had its revenue from 
tithes or tenths. Every farmer in the wide parish of 
Halifax had to give to the church one stone of wool out 
of eveiy ten stones he clipped ; one lamb out of ten ; one 
calf out of ten ; and a tenth of his com and hay or any 
other produce. The account books of the monks tell us 
of three women carrying the tithe wool from Heptonstall 
to Halifax. The Elland wool, in 13(57, needed seven 
women, and they received ttmpence and four pennyworth 
©f ale to share among the seven for carrying it. For a 
long time there was only the one church to se*'ve the 
vast parish, and everyone was baptised or married, or 
buried at Halifax church. When the special chui-ch 
services or festivals were held, the accommodation of the 
little town would be taxed.' The church is dedicated to 
St. John the Baptist, whose festival day is on Midsummer 
day. All the people had to attend church on that day, 
and because of the throng in the streets, hawkers and 
vendors of various things came, and in that way Halifax 
fair came to be on June 24th. There is a legend the 
word Halifax means Holy Face, and that a portion of 
the face of the i^aptist was preseived as a relic in 
Halifax church. The borough coat-of-arms was designed 
from this idea. There is no truth in the story, for had 
there been so important a relic, pilgrims from all over 
the world woukl have found their way to Halifax, and 
some of the old chroniclers would have mentioned the fact. 


To return to the chevron stone —when the monks 
received Halifax church, over eight hundred years ago, 
they commenced to huild a small Norman church, of 
which these few stones remain. Some of the early rectors 
of Halifax were famous men, or it would be more correct 
to say that the fees from the parish in the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries went into the pockets of some great 
men. For, although the Warrens had given Halifax 
church to the Prior of Lewes, they continued to put their 
own friends in the rectory. These rectors drew the rents 
and fees, but scarcely ever came near Halifax to attend 
to the work. As the monks themselves said, these men 
had more care for the fleeces and milk of the flock than 
for souls. The earls were so powerful that the monks for 
a long time were unable to resist these appointments. 

John Talvace, brother to the wife of the third Earl 
Warren, " a pleasant man, generous and very learned," 
seems to have been one of the early rectors. He also 
held the high position of treasurer of York Minster from 
1154 to 1 163, and afterwards became Bishop of Poitiers 
and Archbishop of Lyons. Talvace was an old friend of 
Thomas a Becket, and in a letter to Becket, he advises 
** content yourself with a moderate establishment of horses 
and men, such as your necessities require." He said he 
had often warned Becket " to consider the badness of the 
times, which promise you neither a speedy return nor a 
safe one." The great Hubert Walters also held the rectory 
of Halifax. He went with liichard Coeur de Lion on the 
crusade, and when Kichard was taken prisoner, Walters 
brought the English army home and raised the ransom 
for the king. He became Archbishop of Canterbury and 
a very famous statesman. It would be about the year 
1185 when he became connected with Halifax, and he 


wrote a letter thanking the Prior of Lewes for having 
appointed him to the unknown or obscure church of 
Halifax. We cannot think that Hubert Walters ever 
visited this obscure corner of England. 

The last of the rectors was William de Champ vent, 
a man who probably could not speak a word of English, 
but he certainly did visit Halifax a few times. However, 
the monks obtained a bull from Pope Alexander IV, 
forbidding the practice of appointing these absentee 
rectors. Champvent held the living for another seventeen 
years until, in 1 273, he was preferred to the bishopric of 
Lausanne in Switzerland. The following year, Halifax 
received her first vicar and there were great rejoicings in 
the church. High Mass was celebrated by the Vicar- 
General of the Archbishop of York, assisted by the rectors 
of Thornhill, Birstall and Heaton, three of the black-robed 
monks of Lewes, and others, including Ingelard Turbard, 
the new vicar. He had to promise to reside in Halifax 
and land vras given on which to build a manse for him. 
The tithes were divided, and in 1292, the monks of Lewes 
took £93 6s. 8d. and the vicar's share was £16. Ingelard 
Turbard was vicar of Halifax for over forty years, for the 
Wakefield Court liolls inform us that he died in 13 I 6. 

Towards the latter end of Turbard's days, there was 
a re building of the church. In order to see the part 
that commemorates that epoch, in Halifax church history, 
when the first vicar resided here, you must go round the 
outside of the church to look at the north wall. To the 
east of the north porch is a length of rough walling. If 
you will look at the wall for a few minutes, you may find 
out how it was built. The rough stones were heaped on 
the ground and then were more or less sorted into sizes. 
The masons used the larger pieces first and the smaller 



Pig. 7.— Window (about 1300) in North Wai-l of Parish Church. 

THE 14th century CHURCH. 37 

stones were left for the upper part of the wall as they 
wertj easier to lift. There are two lancet whidows in this 
wall, that are smaller and simpler in design ihan the other 
windows of the church. A third window of the same style 
is on the west side of tlie porch. It is set in a later wail 
and this window probably faced west originally. When 
the church was extended westward, it would be taken 
out and re-erected in the extended north wall. It is most 
intei'esling to trace the growth of an old church like 
Halifax, but we are obliged to defer the story of its further 
growth to a later chapter. 

We do not know the exact date of the erection^of 
Elland and Heptonstall chapels. Some Norman "beak" 
stones have been used in the later chancel arch at Elland. 
We can easily imagine that the parish was too large to be 
efticiently served by priests living in Halifax and we can 
surmise the reason why Heptonstall and Elland were 
chosen, and chapels elected there for assistant priests. 
Heptonstall would serve the western end of the parish 
an(l the township belonged to the monks ot Lewes. 
Elland, though not a long way from Halifax, was 
outsidi3 the manor of Wakefield, and the lords of 
Elland would prefer a chapel for their own tenants. The 
vicar ol Halifax appointed and paid these priests, and 
even to-day the vicar of Halifax still makes the old 
grant of £4 per year. The two chapels did not possess 
the privileges of a church like Halifax and for very many 
centuries, the vicar of Halifax was the spiritual head of 
the whole parish. The connection between the Priory of 
Lewes and Halifax lasted until the Reformation, or over 
four hundred years. In those early days the south of 
pjigland was much more advanced than the north, and 
the priests sent by the prior would probably teach the 


people inuny things and help to widen their ideas about 
the great world outside the parish. 

•* Halifax Parish Church — An Early Chapter of Its History," — John LlSTBR, 
(Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1905) 



The great Norman barons often quarrelled among 
themselves and armed their men to fight one another. 
The story of the Elland Feud is interesting because it 
shows how these quarrels affected the men who were 
tenants of these lords. The tale has been handed down 
in a ballad, the verses being sung at Christmas time. Its 
appropriate title is "Revenge upon Revenge." Within 
recent years, entries on the Wakefield Court Rolls, con- 
firming the truth of the ballad, have been discovered. 
The tragedies commenced with the enmity between the 
great lords of Wakefield and Pontefract. The Earl of 
Warren of this time was a great friend of Edward II. 
Tlioraas Lacy, Earl of Lancaster, was the leader of the 
barons who put to death Gaveston, the kind's favourita 
Afterwards, the Earl of Lancaster rebelled agjainst the 
king, and was himself beheaded. On the Monday before 
Ascension day, 1317, Alice de Lacy, wife of the Earl of 
Lancaster, was kidnapped by Earl Warren's men, at 
Canford in Dorset, and taken to one of the castles of the 
Wa/rens. The Lacys laid siege to the Yorkshire castles 
of Earl Warren. In the fighting, Exley of Exley Hall, 
Siddal, killed a nephew of Sir John Elland. Though 
Exley gave a piece of land as compensation for the man's 
death, Sir John w ould not forgive the deed, so P]xley fled 



to Ciosland Hall, near Huddersfield, where Sir Robert 
Beaumont, hi^ kinsman, lived. 

Sir John's home, Elland Hall, is on the north side of 
the Calder, overlooking Elland Bridge. The house has 
been re-built several times during the six hundred years, 
but some windows of the seventeenth century can still be 
seen. The Ellands had acquired the manor of Elland 
from the Lacys, in the thirteenth century and Sir John 
Elland was Hio:h Steward to Earl Warren. A well-armed 

Pig. 8.— Elland. 



*\f Cromwell Bottom. 

band of Elland men was raised, and Sir John set out one 
night with the intention of killing Sir Bobeit Bea.umont. 
On their way to Ciosland Hall, the Elland men came to 
Quarmby Hall and entering the house in the dead of 
night, they slew Hugh of Quarmby. fcir John next led 
his men to Lock wood and killed Lock wood of Lockwood. 
Quarmby and Lockwood were ruthlessly slaughtered 
because they were friends of Beaumont. When they 
arrived at Crosland Hall, the Elland men found the moat 
full of water and the drawbridge up, so they waited, in 
ambush, for the morn. A maid-servant of the house had 
an errand early the next morning, and when the bridge was 
lowered, Elland's men rushed in. Sir Robert Beaumont 


was in bed, but unarmed he fought manfully, and his 
servants strove with miglit and raani until tliey were 
overpowered. Sir llobert was dratrged downstairs into 
the hall and there they cut off his head. Many of his 
faithful men and Exiey also, were killed without mercy. 
Sir John El land made a feast for his men in Crosland 
Hall and invited Beaumont's two sons to eat with him, 
but Adam Beaumont, though but a boy, sturdily refused. 

** The first fray here now have ye heard, 
J he secoTici siiall en -lie, 
And hi.w niiuh iiti>chief afterward, 
Upou the»e nmrders grew." 

Lady Beaumont took her two sons into Lancasiiire for 
safety, wheie they were joined by young Lockwood and 
Qunrmby and Lacy of Cromwell-bottom. They lived at 
Brereton Hall and Tovvnley, Jiear Burnley, trainiDg 
themselves in fencing, tilting, liding, and shooting with 
the long-bow. 'i hey were determined to take revenge on 
Sir John Elland, and as these fatherless lads grew into 
men, they discussed many plans how to attain tlieir 
desire. They decidf^d to fall upon Sir John Elland on the 
day that he attended the Sheriff's Tourn at Brighouse, 
He never failed to ])reside over that conrt, and as the loads 
would be busy with men on their way to Biighouse, the 
men from Lancashire would not be so noticeable. The 
four youths with their followei's, hid in Cromwell-bottom 
Wood and sent spies into Bnghouse to give warning of 
Sir John's return. The old road from Biioliouse to Elland 
Hall went uj) to Lane Head, then down to Brookfbot. and 
up again through Cromwell-bottom Wood. Signal wa8 
given of the knight's approach and his enemies set out to 
meet him, and the fight took place at Lane Head. Sir 
John aiid his men were armed and fought for their lives. 


•' They cut him from his company 
Belike at the Lane end ; 
And there they slew him certainly 
And there he made his end." 

Sir John Elland was killed in the year 1353. Beaumont 
and his friends fled the same night and sought a safe 
hiding-place in Furness. 

Early in the next spring, they came back to Cromwell- 
bottom to plan the death of young Sir John Elland and 
his boy. On the eve of Palm Sunday, Beaumont, Lacy, 
Lock wood, and Quarmby broke into Elland Mill and lay 
there in ambush. Early on the Sunday morning, the 
miller sent his wife to the mill to fetch some corn. They 
bound her hand and foot, and laid her in a safe place, 
so that she could not raise an alarm. The miller was 
angry when his wife did not return, so he took a cudgel 
to chastise her for her delay. The miller was also caught 
and laid by his wife's side. Sir John had heard rumours 
t/hat his enemies were abroad and on that Sunday morning 
he told his fears to his wife. She took little notice of the 
reports and said "It is Palm Sunday, and we must 
certainly go to church and serve God, this holy day." Sir 
John Elland, for safety, put (m a coat of armour under 
his suit and with his lady, his son and some of his people 
set out for church. Perhaps there was no bridge at this 
time, for they crossed the river by the dam-stones of the 
mill. Adam Beaumont stepped out of the mill, with his 
long-bow, notched his arrow to the string, and shot at the 
knight. It struck his breast, glancing off the armour. 
Lockwood's first arrow did the same but his second shot 
struck Sir John Elland in the head and he fell dead in 
the river. One of the other bowmen mortally wounded 
his son and heir, and the servants carried the boy home 
to die at Elland Hall. 


Beaumont and his friends left the mill and hurriedly 
marched by Whittle Lane End and Old Earth to Ainley 
Wood. An alarm was raised in Elland and men found 
their weapons and armour that Sunday morning and 
pursued the murderers. There was a fight in Ainley Wood 
and Quarmby was badly wounded. The chase continued 
to Huddersfield but the others escaped. As the Elland 
men returned through the wood, they heard crows and 
magpies chattering about a tree covered with ivy and 
there they found Quarmby hidden in the tree, and slew 
him. Lock wood was betrayed by a sweetheart at 
Cawthorne, Lacy went into the north, while Beaumont 
went abroad and died fighting with the Knights of Rhodes. 

Thus the Elland family became extinct and the Saviles 
who had married into the family became lords of Elland. 
Their home is on the other side — the southern slope of 
Galder Vale. It was called the New Hall in contrast to 
the older Elland Hall, and the interesting old house is 
still called New Hall. 

•' The Elland Tragedies "—reprinted and edited by J. Horsfall Turner. 





In the porch of Halifax Parish Church is an ancient 
grave-cover, on which the mason has carved a rude 
representation of a pair of shears beside the cross. Those 
who have studied such gravestones say that the shears 
are a trade symbol, and that a cloth-worker was buried 
under this stone, about the year 1150. We know nothing 



more about the man, but it is most interesting to think 
that our local cloth trade is so ancient. When we turn 
to examine our oldest written records, we find that the 
earliest court-roll of the Wakefield manor commences with 
a list of jurymen who served at Rastrick in October, 1274 
and the sixth name on the roll is Roger the Fuller. Roger 
is so described because his principal occupation was the 
fulling or finishing of cloth. The earliest named weaver 
is Thomas the Webster, of Hipperholme, in May, 1275. 

Fig. 9. -Grave Cover (C. USO) in Halifax Church. 

So that we may affirm with confidence that as far back 
as records go, men were engaged in the woollen industry 
in the parish of Halifax. 

These early evidences of the trade are important 
because they disprove the legend that the Flemings 
introduced cloth-making into our district about the year 
1331, when Edward III invited Flemish weavers to settle 
in England. We know that they came to York, but a 
close examination of court-rolls, local deeds, revenue 
returns, and lists of later cloth- workers that we shall study, 


fails to discover these Flemish weavers in our part of the 
country. Writer after writer has repeated the story, 
without giving proofs, and though some West Riding 
historians have collected the correct and contrary evidence, 
the Flemish myth is still repeated. As we have seen, 
there were cloth-makers in Halifax long before the 
Flemings landed, and the early weavers, dyers, and fullers, 
all bear good old Halifax names. Besides, the Flemings 
were the most skilful of textile workers and made the 
better cloths. Halifax weavers were content, for many 
centuries, to go on producing the coarser qualities. 

I think we may find out why the cloth trade took 
root among our hills. In the earliest days, the making 
of cloth was a home occupation. Each family made for 
itself the cloth it needed for its own clothes. But, as time 
went on, men who were clever at weaving devoted more 
of their time to it, and exchanged their cloth with those 
who preferred farming, for corn and meat. Now, this 
district was never a favourable place for agriculture, and 
the men naturally turned their hand to trade. The 
comparative freedom of the men, through not being so 
closely tied to the soil, as the tenants of small manors 
were, also encouraged trade. 

In the middle of the fourteenth century, a terrible 
plague visited England. Its effects were so great that 
the Black Death of 1348 and 1349 is one of the great 
events of English history. At least one third of the 
people died. In the West Riding, out of 141 priests, 96 
fell victims to the Black Death. Thomas of Gaytington, 
vicar of Halifax, died on September 10th, 1349, and as 
the Prior of Lewes had no priests to send into the north, 
a local man, Richard of Ovenden, was made vicar. In 
less than four months, he also died, and another priest. 


John of Stanford, came to the church. On the Wakefield 
Court Rolls an unusual number of entries were made of 
heirs paying fines to inherit the lands of tenants who had 
died. The poor people, who had no land, suffered the 
most, and there were not sufficient men left in England 
to till the land and gather the harvests. Labourers were 
very scarce and they demanded more money than they 
had hitherto received for wages, and more than the law 
allowed. The Government attempted to regulate the 
prices of everything, and to keep wages at the old level. 
Their action did not prevent rates becoming higher, but 
perhaps wages and prices would have gone higher still if 
it had not been for the penalties. It was impossible to 
enforce many of the irksome manorial customs, and the 
Black Death is said to mark the end of the feudal system. 

The Statute of Labourers was a law passed by Par- 
liament, according to which, no man was to take higher 
wages than he had received before the pestilence. Justices 
were appointed to see that the statute was observed. 
William of Fincheden, John of Norland, and William of 
Mirfiekl were justices for the West Riding. This William 
of Mirfield was lord of the manor of Shelf and collector 
of the revenues of Bradford Church. In the year 1355 
the fines amounted to £84 4s. 7Jd. Out of this amount 
£38 Os. 8d. was paid to the justices for their fees and 
expenses, and the balance ought to have been paid to the 
townships, which found difficulty in raising the king's 
taxes. But the collectors absconded with the money and 
the record of their misdoings supplies us with these few 
details. The township of Shelf received 6s. 8d. relief 
for the taxes. 

The country had not fully recovered from the ravages 
of the Black Death, when Richard II. came to the throne. 


To provide the boy-king with money, the people were 
taxed. Each man and woman over sixteen years of age 
had to pay fourpence, though married couples were 
charged as one person. Merchants paid one shilling and 
there were eight in the parish ; twenty-three tradesmen 
paid sixpence each ; John Lacy of Cromwell-bottom and 
Henry Langfield of Elland paid 3s. 4d. each ; and John 
Savile of Elland, described as a chevalier paid 20s. 
Priests and beggars had no tax to pay. It is known as 
the Poll Tax of 1379 — "poll" means head and the tax 
was levied on heads. In the Public Records Office in 
London, are the original lists of the people who paid this 
tax, and from them we know who were living in Halifax 
in 1379 and something about them. We have, in fact, 
a most interesting Directory of Halifax in 1379. 

In the township of Halifax, there were 16 married 
couples and 6 single persons who paid their groats. If 
we add 4 8 children, 3 priests and 1 beggar, we get a total 
population of 90 for Halifax. It is probable that a few 
escaped taxation, but we can be quite certain that the pop- 
ulation of Halifax was not above 100 in 1379, or a less 
number than live to-day in one of our shorter streets. It 
makes us wonder how many were left in Halifax when the 
Black Death passed. The total population of the whole 
parish was under two thousand in 1379. Elland-cum- 
Greetland was the most important township, 6 1 persons 
being named and the population calculated to be 188. 
Elland boasted such rich men as John Savile and Henry 
Langfield ; two merchants ; and six weavers, carpenters 
and smiths. Sowerby comes second and Hipperholme 
third on the list. Halifax is half-way down the list of 
twenty townships, and not one man in the township was 
of sufficient social standing to pay more than fourpence. 


We all possess something that dates back to the 
fourteenth century, and that something is our surname. 
From the Poll Tax Returns we can see how these family 
names came into use, for at that time they w^ere being 
fixed. When there were only a few persons living in a 
place, there was not much need for a second name. We 
never use the second name at home, or among our friends, 
but we call our brother, Jack. When we go to school, 
where there are twenty Jacks, we have to call him Jack 
Greenwood. In just the same way, as towns grew in 
size, people began to use a second name and then they 
found it better to keep the same name for sons, grandsons, 
great-grandsons and so on. Thus we were each born 
with a surname. 

Out of eighteen Halifax men, eight were named John. 
There were 133 Johns, or one third of the men in the 
parish, in 1379. To distinguish these Johns, another 
name was added, and we have : — 
John Oteson, sometimes called John Otes. Ote or Odo 

was the christian name of his father. 
John, son of Gilbert, who was called John Gibson when 

he was elected constable in 1382. 
John Smithson, whose father was the smith. 
John, son of John, was named John Jackson in a court 

roll of 1370. 
John Milner had the manorial corn mill. 
John Frauncays was a Frenchman living in Halifax at 

that time. 
John of the Wro and John of the Bowes are named from 

the situation of their homes, which gave rise to the 

surnames Wroe and Boyes. 

The first name on the Halifax list is William, son of 
Henry, who was afterwards called William Hanson (or 


Henryson). His brother Richard was Vicar of Halifax, 
and is described as son of Henry of Heaton. The vicar's 
surname was Heaton and his son was a Heaton, but his 
brother's family went by the name of Hanson. From 
this case we gather that surnames had not become finally 
fixed. Robert Lister's name appears in the list — a lister 
was a dyer. In 1311, we find Bate, the lister of Halifax. 
In 1338, his son is named Richard Bateson, but in 1359, 
the same man is called Richard Lister. So we can see 
that the Listers might have been known as Bateson or 
Bates- There were Otes of Holdsworth, Thomas of Cliff 
and Richard of Bottom living in Halifax, and their names 
are still used as surnames. 

It is worth while pointing out that two men could 
bear the same surname and not have the slightest 
relationship to one another. The William Hanson of 
Halifax, son of Henry of Heaton, had no kinship with 
the William Hanson of Rastrick, living at the same date, 
for this second William was son of Henry of Rastrick. 
There was a Milner for every one of the corn mills — Hugh 
and John at EUand, John at Halifax, Randolph at 
Heptonstall, Henry at North owram, and William at 
Sowerby. They all had the same surname, Milner, 
because they all plied the same trade, but they were not 
related to one another. The origin of surnames provides 
a fascinating study. It is interesting to discover some 
fourteenth century Robert or John or Henry who gave 
his name to a family. A remote moorland hamlet like 
Shackleton or Saltonstall, even a lonely farm house such 
as Akroyd or Sunderland gave a name to a family, and 
afterwards some gifted member of the family makes the 
name world famous. The surnames derived from trades 
are, as we have already noticed, very important. To 



explain some of these, it will be necessary to give an 
account of how cloth was made, and the many processes 
required for each piece. 


Fig. 10.— Akroyd in Wadsworth. 

Hioto. H. p. Kendall. 

First of all, sheep had to be reared. When our 
district was mostly moorland with a few fields scattered 
along the hill-sides like oases, there was ample room for 
large flocks. In 1379 we find John the Shepherd of 
Midgley, and Alice Shepherd of Warley, who perhaps 
lived at Shepherd House. Shibden was formerly spelt 
Schepedene — the sheep vale. In 1367, according to the 
tithes accounts, 2340 stone of wool was clipped in Halifax 
Parish. The fleece was sorted into different qualities 


and lengths of wool, washed to free it from grease, and 
the dust and foreign matter beaten or picked from it. 
The next processes, carding and spinning were done by 
women. The cards were like two square hair brushes 
with wire bristles. The end of every wire was bent 
towards the handle. A handful of wool was laid on one 
card, and drawn off the card with the other card. The 
carding straightened the wool out ready for spinning. 
Spinning took up so much of the women's time, that 
unmarried women were called — and are still called — 
spinsters. In spinning, a long rod, named a distaff* was 
used. A bundle of the carded wool was tied on the top 
end of the distaff. A little of the wool was pulled out 
and twisted into a thread by the finger and thumb. The 
thread was tied on to a spindle. At the end of the 
spindle was a spindle-whorl, a round piece of stone or 
iron that acted like a little fly-wheel, so that when the 
spindle was given a twist, the spindle-whorl would keep 
it spinning for a time. The wool was gradually pulled 
off the distaff, the thread was twisted by the continued 
spinning and wound on the spindle. The spun wool is 
called the yarn. 

Weaving is the most important process in the making 
of cloth. The yarn is carefully wound on to a roller or 
beam which is fixed in the back of the loom, and the 
threads are stretched in parallel lines the length of the 
loom and fastened to the front roller. These threads are 
the warp of the cloth. As the rollers are slowly turned, 
the warp on the back beam is gradually unwound, while 
the front roller becomes full of cloth. To make the 
cloth, a cross-thread called the weft has to be put in. 
In darning a stocking-hole, the cross-threads are made 
by pushing the needle over the first thread, under the 


second, and over and under the alternate threads. But 
the loom has a quicker method. Each horizontal warp 
thread passes through the loop of a vertical thread, and 
these vertical threads are tied, top and bottom to a pair 
of laths or headles. There are two pairs of these laths, 
hung from pulleys on the top of the loom frame, and 
fastened at the bottom to a pair of treadles. When the 
weaver presses down one treadle with his right foot, the 
right pair of headles drop down and the left pair go 
up. The loops pull down the first, third, and all the 
odd-numbered warp threads, and the even-numbered 
warp threads are raised. The shuttle containing 
the weft is thrown through the opening, and so the 
thread goes over and under the alternate threads 
as the darning needle does. Then the left treadle is 
pressed down, and the shuttle thrown back again across 
the opening. The earlier weavers used a short, heavy 
comb to beat the weft together, but later a long comb or 
reed was attached to the loom. This was made of fine 
reeds fixed betweeen two laths. The thread of the warp 
runs between these reeds, thus the reeds keep the warp 
straight. The reed is fixed in a heavy frame swinging 
from the top of the loom. After every throw of the 
shuttle the -reed is swung against the weft to press it 
tightly into the web of the cloth. In old wills a loom is 
called a "pair of looms," which means a set of looms, 
just as sometimes, a chest of drawers is called a " pair of 

Webster has never been a common surname in 
Halifax. The name is very rare in the early registers, 
and cannot be found in the published wills. The reason 
for this is that it was not distinctive enough in a 
community where there were many weavers. The Poll 


Tax of 1379 gives no example of Webster as a surname. 
However, among the twenty -three tradesmen, rated at 
sixpence, four are websters — Hugh Stephenson, Alice 
and Isabella of the Cross in Elland, and John Dean of 
Midgley. Half-a-dozen men and one woman called 
Webster, of Halifax Parish are to be found on the 
court-rolls between 1272 and 1327 — that is, before the 
Flemings came — for weaving would not be so universal 

The raw cloth from the loom had next to be fulled, 
that is to say scoured, cleansed, and thickened by 
beating it in water. In the early days, this was done 
by men trampling upon the cloth in a trough, and the 
process was therefore called "walking" and the fuller 
was known as a "walker." During the thirteenth 
century, improvements were made and the cloth was 
beaten by large wooden mallets, which were worked up 
and down by a water-wheel. Fulling mills were built 
by the stream banks, and the lord of the manor leased 
the right to work such mill to some Fuller or Walker. 
There were nine Walkers in 1379, and there are nine 
Fullers or Walkers mentioned in the court rolls prior to 
1327. These " walk-mylnes " were the only mills used 
in the manufacture of cloth for five hundred years, hence 
the "fulling" is nowadays called "milling," though every 
process is to-day carried on in a mill. 

After the fulling, the cloth was stretched on tenters 
to dry. In 1414, Eichard of High Sunderland had a 
"tentercroft" (a small field with tenter frames) in Halifax. 
You may to-day see tentercrofts attached to the 
blanket mills about Mytholmroyd. In the final processes 
of finishing, the loose fibres of the cloth were raised by 
teasels, the dried heads of the "fuller's thistle." This 


raised portion was cut off by " Walker's Shears " to 
produce an even nap on the cloth. Last of all the piece 
was dyed. We shall have to omit any description of the 
dyeing processes. In the thirteenth century dyers were 
called " litsters," hence the surname "Lister." In 1274 
Bate, or Bartholomew Lister carried on the dyeing trade at 
North Bridge. There were four listers or dyers in 1379. 
In Bankfield Museum, there is a valuable collection 
of appliances, used in the early manufacture of cloth. 

" Poll Tax, 1379,"— Ux. Antqn. Socy., Record Series, Vol. I. 






T^he most interesting method of studying the history 
of Halifax in the fifteenth century, is to take a ramble 
along the first two miles of the ancient road to Wakefield. 
Starting from the Parish Church, cross Clark Bridge 
and climb Old Bank to Beacon Hill Boad, where the 
Southowram trams run. So far, we see little to remind 
us of by-gone days, except the steepness of the route. 
It is obvious that travellers on foot, or horse, and pack- 
horses made this road and that it was never in tented for 
carts. From Beacon Hill Boad, a track traverses the 
slope up to the shoulder of the hill, just below the 
Beacon Pan. Shale and stones have been tipped and 
washed down the bare slope by storms, so that the track 
is obscured for the most part. But here and there the 
ancient paving stones are visible, and near the summit 



of the pass there is a fine elbow turn where the pack- 
horse pavement is exposed in perfect condition. After 
the highest point is reached, the road, known as 
Barraclough Lane, is for a short distance, a wide sandy 
road. Down the eastern slope, towards Hipperholme, it 

Fig. 11.— VViscoMBE Bank. 
The old pack-horse road on Beacon Hill. 

retains its primitive state and is called Dark Lane. The 
road has a narrow, paved track, suitable for pack-horses. 
High banks on either side, covered with holly bushes, 
briers, and bracken shelter the road, and in some places 
the small trees almost meet overhead. Dark Lane ends 
near an ancient house named Dumb Mill, just below 
Hipperholme Station. 



This narrow lane was the Magna Via — the Great 
E-oad to and from HaHfax in the old days, for it was the 
way to Wakefield, London, and the outside world. Few, 
if any, English towns of the size of Halifax, possess a 
stretch of ancient road as little spoiled by the changes 
of time as our Magna Via. It is an historic monument 

-■•■:•'- ^m 




Fig. 12.— The Magna Via. 

Photo. M. HanaoH. 

that ought to be preserved. Up and down this road 
came the monks from Lewes and the early priests of the 
Parish Church. The Earls of Warren rode this way to 
their hunting in Sowerbyshire, their stewards and men 
came to officiate at the manor courts, and Halifax men 
drove destrained cattle to Wakefield by this route. 
The masons and carpenters of York coming to build the 


church got their first gHmpse of Hahfax from this road. 
Thousands of pack-horses carrying cloth to London and 
other markets, and returning with wool from the southern 
counties, have worn this paved track. 

Retracing our steps, and lifting our eyes from the 
road to the surrounding hills, we can trace the eastern 
boundaries of the parish, from Fixby to Queensbury, 
Soil Hill, and Ogden. We have a splendid view of the 
upper part of Shibden Dale. There are no mills and no 
roads in the valley, therefore Shibden has not altered 
much in appearance. The dale is served by two roads, 
each perched high up on the jSanking hills. Brow Lane 
on the eastern side follows a high contour of the hill. 
On the other side is the Old Bradford Boad from Bange 
Bank to Swales Moor. The road on which we are 
standing is a similar high-level road, and it is important 
to remember that the old routes were always near the 
hill-tops. This part of the hill was called Bairstow from 
its bareness, and the other side, overlooking Halifax, was 
known as Clegg Cliff, or Gled cliff — the clay clif! — long 
before the hill took its name from the Beacon. 

From Barrowclough Lane we can see several very 
old homesteads. Upper Brea on the eastern side, and 
Horley Green on the western side, occupy two fine 
situations on either flank of Upper Shibden Dale. 
Above Horley Green is High Sunderland, looking like a 
fort on the bare hillside. In the centre of the valley, 
Shibden Fold peeps over the embankment of the modern 
road. Its whitewashed gable front is a timber erection 
of the fifteenth century. Cosily nestled below us lies 
Shibden Hall, the most interesting of all our old halls. 
It was from this road that its early owners approached it, 
and from our standpoint we have a fine view of its front. 



Shibden Hall is a timbered house, to which, later 
stone portions, and a nineteenth century tower have been 
added. In the fifteenth century all the houses were 
built of oak. Large oak trees were plentiful in the 
district, and timber was easier to get and to work than 
stone. To build a house, several pairs of large oak posts 

Fig. 13.— Shibden Hai.i.,; 

Photo. H. P. Kainhill. 

or "crooks" were chosen. These were so cut from the 
tree that they curved inwards at the top. A low stone 
wall was built for a foundation, with larger stones placed 
where the posts had to stand. The "crooks" were reared 



upright, and joined together with horizontal oak beams. 
This framework of posts and beams carried the roof, and 
old carpenters used to say that in building these old 
houses, the roof was made before the walls. To make 

Fig. 14.--DEKRPLAY 

Timber House at Mill Bank. 

Photo. H. P. Kendall. 

the walls, beams were tenoned between the posts below 
the window level, and also above the windows. The 
spaces between the main timbers of the wall were framed 
up with oak battens about seven inches wide, either 


vertically or diagonally. All this oak framing — posts, 
beams, and battens, (or " studding ") makes the black 
lines in these magpie buildings. Between the "studding," 
thin stone slates were slipped into grooves, and then 
daubed over with clay. This gives the white effect. 
The roof was covered with stone slates, and moss packed 
into the joints. The moss sucked the rain-water up like 
a sponge. As it expanded it filled up the joints, and 
made the roof water-tight. 

These old houses usually faced south and the principal 
entrance was called the sun-door. From this door a 
passage ran through the house to the back door. On 
the left-hand side of this passage was the main room, 
called the house-body. The living room is to-day often 
called the house. This house-body usually was open to 
the roof and around its walls was a gallery to give access 
to the chambers or bedrooms. The house-body and 
passage made up the centre portion of the building. It 
was flanked on either side by wings whose gable-ends 
faced south and north. In one wing would be two 
parlours with chambers above. In the other, kitchen 
and buttery were placed with two or three more bedrooms 
above them. 

In Shibden Hall Park, near the lake is a timbered 
house that once stood in Cripplegate, near the Parish 
Church. Mr. John Lister removed it into his grounds 
when some alterations were made at the bottom of the 
town. Overlooking the lake is yet another old house, 
now called Daisy Bank. Its back is close to the Hipper- 
holme road. We may get a peep at its front from a 
lootpath at the edge of the garden. This building, also 
saved by Mr. Lister, formerly stood in the centre of the 
town. It was then known as " The House at the 



Maypole," because it was close to the maypole at the 
corner of Old Market and Corn Market. The entrance 
to the house is decorated with heraldic carving. A 
Tudor rose and a portcullis — the badge of Henry VII.-- 
denote that the house was built at some date between 
1485 and 1509. A shield bearing the arms of the 
Merchant Adventurers, and another shield "displaying a 


Fig. 15.— TiiK House at the Maypoli;. 15th Cent. Dookwav. 

merchant's mark, denote that the buikling was originally 
tenanted by a merchant. We do not know his name, 
but his initials, S. O., are over the doorway. 

Sunny Bank, Greetland, is probably the oldest in the 
parish of the timbered house that still rem5,in. A public 
footpath passes through the farmyard, which makes it 
possible for the visitor to examine it closely. The house 
was owned by Thomas Wilkinson, Vicar of Haiifax,. 



Plwto. H. P. Kendall 

'Fig. 16.— Shibden Hall,Porch, 
Showing the Stone Front of the Centre Portion. 



Fig. 17.— High Sundeuland. 

Photo. H. P. Kendall. 

Fig. 18.— Norland Hall. 

Photo. H. P. Kendall. 



1438-1480. Its original name was Over Nabroyd, but 
the vicar changed its name to the prettier title of Sunny 
Bank. The shop now occupied by Messrs. Altham at 
the top of Woolshops is also a timbered structure, but it 
has been plastered over and the timber hidden. 

Photo. H. P. Keiidalf. 

Fig. 19 —Window of Timbkr Building, Norland Hall. 

Remains of these timbered houses are to be found in 
many of the seventeenth century stone halls. Oak does 
not last for ever, so when the posts began to show signs 
of decay, it became the custom to build a stone front t© 
replace the black and white erection. At Shibden Hall, 
the house- body was encased with stone, but the rest of 
the south front was left in its original condition. High 





Sunderland is a timber hoiise encased with stone. The 
present front (17th century) has a straight embattled 
cornice. But from the hill side behind the house, we can 

Fig. 21.— TiMBKR Work at Binroyd. 

Photo. H. P. Kendall. 

look on to the roof and see that the older building had a 
gabled front before the Sunderlands erected a stony 


screen that hides the shape of the timbered house. 
Norland Hall, pulled down a few years ago, was a good 
example of a timbered house with a later stone exterior. 
There it was possible to see the original narrow windows 
with oak mullions. Fortunately a record of the house 
has been published. 

The poorer people were housed in very small cabins, 
but none of these miserable one-roomed houses remain for 
our inspection. Id 1286, Peter Swerd unjustly ejected 
Alice of the Croft from her land in Mankinholes and cast 
down her house. The damage was said to be lOs. 6d. 
It shows us that Alice's house must have been a poor 

In Chapter III., the earliest fragments of the Parish 
Church showed us that older and smaller churches stood 
on the site of the present building. We have next to 
consider the building of the church that we see to-day. 
Old churches are more interesting than modern buildings, 
because they have been altered and rebuilt to serve the 
varying needs of the centuries, and it is a fascinating 
study to trace their growth. England is rich in ancient 
parish churches and no two are exactly alike, The 
greater part of Halifax church was built during the 
fifteenth century. We may admire the architecture and 
boast that it is a large and handsome church, but it is 
impossible for us to be impressed by its majesty as were 
those men of Halifax who watched it gradually rise, 
stone upon stone. Kemember that at that time, all the 
houses in the parish were timbered buildings. For at 
least a century'after the church was finished, there was 
no other stone building. There was no other building to 
compare with it — a town hall, hospital, schools, etc. were 
undreamt of. 




The church has two main (Uvisioiis. In the nave or 
west end of the building, the people assembled ; while in 
the chancel at the east end, the clergy conducted the 
worship. The building of the nave is usuall}/ ascribed to 
the time of John King, who was vicar from 1389 to 1488. 
Vicar King left to the fabric of the church 100 shillings, 
which was a very large amount in those days. The 
windows of the fifteenth century are much larger than 
the older lancet windows in the north wall, because great 
sheets of stained or painted windows gave a beautiful 
colour effect to the interior, and people were enthusiastic 
about decorating their churches with them. The roof 
was steeper than the present one ; the lines of the 
original roof can be seen on the eastern face of the tower. 
The builder's first idea was to place the tower at the 
south-west corner of the nave. If you enter the church 
you will see that the pillar between the door and the font 
is much stronger than the others because it was built to 
carry the tower. In the south-west corner is the door- 
way for the staircase up the tower. Stand with your 
back to this door and look up. Above the two arches, 
you will see a course of stones where the floor of the 
tower would have been. We cannot tell how high this 
tower was built ])efore it was abandoned for the larger 

The chancel is as long as the nave, though usually the 
cliancel of a church is much smaller than the nave. 1 he 
chancel of Halifax Church was built at two different 
times, for the pillars east of the present choir-screen vary 
from those to the west of it. At one time a large rood 
screen, dividing the chancel and nave, was situated under 
the great central arch of the church. Half of the door- 
way that gave access to the rood loft can be seen in the 



Fig. 23.— Pkkpemucular Window of the ISth Ce.ntuuy. 



pier. The other half was cut away when the Holdsworth 
Chapel was added to the church. The doorways for the 
stairs to a later rood loft can be seen opposite the present 

Fig. 2^. -Large Pikr, Dksi(4ned to Support thf. Earlikr Tower. 

choir-screen. Another interesting doorway is next to the 
north jamb of the great east window. At present it 
opens into space, but at one time it led on to the roof, so 


we know that the chancel roof was then lower than it is 
now. On the exterior of the south wall of the chancel 
are three buttresses. On the centre one is a moulding at 
the level of the roof. On the other two are carved an 
antelope and a lion. These heraldic beasts were the 
badges of Henry VI., and therefore they help us to date 
this work. They were probably carved before 1455, for 
after that date Henry VI. and Richard Duke of York 
(who was Lord of the Manor of Wakefield) were open rivals. 
During the War of the Roses, Richard was killed in front 
of his castle at Sandal, in the Battle of Wakefield. Later 
again Henry was obliged to hide in the border country of 
Lancashire and Westmoreland. He was betrayed and 
captured by the Talbots at Bungelly Hipping-stones near 
Clitheroe in 1465. A year later, Thomas Wilkinson, 
vicar, thirty-two Halifax men, and certain other strong 
fellows from the country-side attacked the Talbots at 
Burnley. We do not know the exact cause of the quarrel, 
but it almost looks as if the Halifax expedition into 
Lancashire was on account of their loyalty to the unfor- 
tunate Henry VI. 

Thomas Wilkinson was Vicar of Halifax for the long 

period of from 1438 until 1480. During his time the 

church was considerably enlarged. The vicar was not 

satisfied with the chancel as it appeared in 1455, and 

proceeded to add a clerestory to it. The building of this 

'clear storey," with its series of windows, giving more 

lio^ht to the chancel, meant that the eastern wall of the 

church had to be built higher. Vicar Wilkinson " made 

at his own expense, the great window in the chancel." 

His will dated 14 77 makes no mention of such a gift, so 

the window was given during his lifetime. Therefore 

the clerestory was built between 1455 and 14 80. There 


are a few more details woi'th noticing. The staircase 
within the pier to the north of the east window, that led 
to the lower roof, was continued upward. ' A circular 
stair head with a conical top was made at the eastern 
end of the north side of the clerestory. The parapet of 
the chancel is different in design to the parapet of the 
clerestory. But when the eastern wall was made higher, 
its parapet was carefully taken down and replaced at the 
level of the clerestory. In 1467, Lawrence Bentley, 
constable of Halifax, reported that -Vicar Wilkinson had 
cut down trees at the Birks, in violation of the custom 
of the manor, and to the great detriment of the tenants. 
Probably the timber was wanted for the church. 

Most parish churches that boast a clerestory — 
Bradford for example — have them to light the nave. In 
many cases the clerestory is extended over the chancel 
as well. But Halifax church is practically unique in 
possessing a clerestory to the chancel without having one 
at the western end of the church. The priests were 
responsible for the building and upkeej) of the chancel, 
while the people had the care of the nave. Vicar 
Wilkinson certainly erected a magnificient chancel, and 
the people of Halifax, in emulation, set about to improve 
the western half of the church. They determined to 
build a nobler tower. Up to this time the ground-plan 
of the church was a simple oblong. The central arch 
divided the church half-way into nave and chancel. The 
tower added to the plan a small square at the west end. 
The tower was commenced in 1449. The date is known 
because John Waterhouse, when a boy of six or seven 
years, stood with many more children on the first stone 
of the tower. John Waterhouse lived to be 97. It took 
at least thirty-seven years to build the tower, for in 1482 



a bequest of 3s. 4d. was made to the making of the bell 
tower of Halifax. The masons could not have been 
continually at work on the tower for all that time. 
Church building had oftei^i to stop for funds, and during 
the Wars of the Roses interruptions would occur. An 
authority on church architecture says "Almost the single 
glory of Halifax is its grand old mother-church, crowned 

Fig. 25.— Thk Moot Hall and Church Tower. 

by a tower that for simple dignity is possibly unrivalled 
in the Riding. We need not regret its lowly situation 
in quite the lowest hollow of the town; its own 
magnitude and stateliness are suiEcient to assure its 
recognition under any disadvantage of site." Mr. Oddy's 
drawing of the tower will help you to see its beauty. 

The South Porch was the gift of John Lacy of 



Cromwell Bottom who died in 1531. His coat of arms^ 
and crest are carved in the gable of the porch. The west 

Fig. 26.— The Font and Cover. 

Photo. J. H. Chainhen 

wall of the Holds worth Chapel shows at a glance that 
the porch was built before the chapel, for the wall of the 
chapel was erected on the porch wall. 



In the fifteenth century, the interior of the church 
was very different in appearance to what we see to-day. 
There was mubh more colour. The windows were filled 
with brilliant stained glass. The walls, now rough 
and bare, had a smooth coat of plaster, and between 
the windows were decorated with large paintings repre- 
senting scenes from the Bible, and from the lives of 
the saints. The roof was painted blue, dotted with gold 
stars, and even the stone pillars were painted. There 
was also some fine woodwork, part of which has happily 

Fifj. 27.— Wood Cauvin<; on a Priest's Seat. 

been preserved. The font cover, elaborately carved like 
a miniature spire is a beautiful example of fifteenth 
century woodwork. Originally it was painted green 
red, and blue, and bedecked with gilded knobs. The 
priests' seats in the choir have mermaids, pelicans, 
and grotesque animals carved on them. Besides, there 
would be images of saints aroiuid the walls, and a great 
crucifix over the rood-screen. The air was heavy with 
incense and many candles were burning. The priests 
wore gorgeous vestments on festival days, and the whole 
of the interior was a blaze of colour. There were no 


pews, the whole length of the floor was empty except 
for a very few benches. The worshippers had to stand 
during the services. 

Although such a large church was built at Halifax, 
the town itself was very small. The rents of the land 
and houses were paid to the Prior of Lewes. An account 
of the monies he received on December 17th, 1439, has 
been preserved. From this rental we can form some 
idea of the size of the town. Robert Otes had a shop 
and some land at the west end of the churchyard, and 


Fig. 28.— Mason's INIarks. 

this land had been taken lately from the waste. This 
shows that there was waste land quite close to the 
church, so the cluster of houses around the church was 
very small indeed. Strips of the open fields are 
mentioned, and we learn that hay was grown that year 
in the Blackledge Field, and that the South Field was 
ploughed. Next to the church was the Moot Hall, and 
the large common field around the Moot Hall was called 
the Hall Ing. There were no streets of houses or shops 
and even the oldest names of our streets are not 
mentioned. Some of the place-names of 1439 are now 
obsolete, and we cannot tell where they were situated. 
A garden at the boundary of the town was named 
Dyshbyndesherde, a new close was Skylderyeforth, and 
there w^ere houses known as New-house, White-house, 
Machon-house, Rendurer Place, and Myleas Place. The 

Halifax paeish church. 



A— Present Tower 
B— Font 

C— Unfinished Tower 
D— South Porch 
F— Choir Stalls 
H-Holclsworth Chapel 
I — Rokeby Chapei 

Fig. 29.— Ground Plan. 


Well House (Well Head) and the Shay are still known 
to us. Near the North Brig was Lister's fulling mill, 
while Eobert the Milner ground the people's corn at 
Stone Dam Mill. In 1367, two new mill-stones were 
brought from Grindlestone Bank in Ovenden Wood for 
the mill. Bichard Peck was one of the largest land- 
holders in Halifax town in 1439, though he did not live 
in the township. His home was at Owram Hall in 
Shibden (near the present Industrial School). Peck was 
very rich and it is thought that he subscribed liberally 
to the re-building of the church, for he had the honour, 
unusual for a layman, of being buried in the choir. By 
trade, Peck was a goldsmith and silversmith. 

"The House at the Maypole" — Chap. IL in H. Ling Koth's "Yorkshire 
Coiners and Old Halifax." 

Halifax Antiquarian Society's Transactions. 

1907-" Shibden Hall," by J. Lister. 1907-" High Sunderland," by J Lister. 
1911— "Norland Hall," by H. P. Kendall. 1917— "The Evolution of the 

Parish Church, Halifax, (1455-1530)" by T. W. HANSON. 
1908— "Halifax Parish Church Woodwork," by Canon Savage. 

Halifax Antiquarian Society Record Series. 

Vol. L — "Rental of Halifax, 1439." 

Vol. IIL— "The Architecture of the Church of St. John the Baptist, 
Halifax," by Fairless Barber. 


the growth of halifax trade gilds — fairs 

ulnagers accounts — 1473, Halifax leads the west riding 



The nmnber of timbered houses in the parish and the 
building of the stately parish church are visible proofs 
that the people were prosperous, and that the woollen 

GILDS. 79 

trade was expanding. The natural advantages offered by 
the hills were a bountiful supply of good water, and coal 
for fuel. Coal crops out in places on the hill-sides around 
Halifax, and was worked in early times. The supply oi 
fuel was a difficulty for the weavers and tradesmen who 
lived in cities, and the men of York complained that 
Halifax had a great advantage in cheap fuel. But the 
real reason of the growth of the local industry was that 
there were no gilds in Halifax parish. The trade of the 
middle ages was controlled to a large extent by gilds. 
The weavers' gild at York or Beverley had strict rules 
about all details of the trade. The gild decided how long 
an apprentice had to serve and the number of apprentices 
a man might have. Their officials inspected the work- 
shops and looms ; they also examined the cloth and fixed 
prices. Strangers were not allowed to work at the trade, 
and no man might commence in the business unless the 
gild admitted him as a member of the craft. For these 
monopolies, the gilds paid large sums of money to the 
king, while in return, the king protected the gilds. 
Export trade to the Continent and elsewhere was under 
the control of the great gilds of Merchant Adventurers. 
Where there was no gild, there were no restrictions, 
consequently the weavers of the cities had cause to 
complain of the unfair competition of Halifax clothiers. 

Fortunately for the trade of Halifax, although the 
organised channels of commerce were closed to weavers 
outside the gilds, there were other markets. The great 
fairs were open to everybody without restrictions, and 
the kerseys of Halifax were taken to these fairs. In the 
fifteenth century, the Common Council of London were 
defeated in an attempt to prevent their citizens carrying 
goods from London to the fairs, and the Merchant 


Adventurers of London also failed to stop private traders 
attending the great foreign fairs. The gilds obtained a 
law to restrict trading by retail in cities, but a clause 
was inserted "except it be in open fairs." 

John Stead of Norland in his will (1540) bequeathed 
20s. to his brother Thomas "to be good to Elizabeth, my 
wife, and Agnes, my daughter, as to sell their cloth in 
the fairs in Yorkshire." William Hardy of Heptonstall 
(1518), Henry Farrar of Halifax (1542), and Thomas 
Stansfield of Higgin-chamber, Sowerby (1564), make 
mention in their wills of booths in St. Bartholomew's 
Fair in London. This was the most important cloth fair 
and many of the Halifax clothiers owned stands in that 
fair. The greatest fair in England was Sturbridge Fair 
near Cambridge. Though we have no actual record of 
Halifax men journeying there in the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries, it is very probable that their cloth 
was sold in the Duddery there. Duds is an old English 
word for cloth. Fairs held an important place in trade 
for many centuries. Li 1724, when Daniel Defoe visited 
Sturbridge Fair, he was told that £100,000 worth of 
woollen manufactures were sold in a week's time. "Here 
are clothiers" he wrote, "from Halifax, Leeds, Wakefield, 
and Huddersfield in Yorkshire." 

About the year 1475, Halifax produced more cloth 
than any other parish in the West Riding, and kept the 
premier position for more than three centuries. Mr. 
Lister discovered that fact in the Ulnagers' Accounts 
preserved in the Public Records Office, London. Cloth 
was measured by the ell in those days, an ell beiEg 45 
inches in length. The Latin name for "ell" is "ulna," 
and the " ulnage " was the fee paid for measuring the 
cloth. The ulnagers were the officials who examined the 

ULN AGE. 8 1 

pieces to see that they were of the standard width and 
weight. They affixed a copper seal to each cloth that 
they passed, for which one half-penny was charged. At 
the same time, the ulnager collected the king's subsidy, 
or tax on the cloth, which was a few pence per piece. 
The subsidy had been granted to the king in lieu of an 
old tax on wool. Edward I. in 1275 levied a duty of 
6s. 8d. on every sack of wool sent out of the kingdom. 
At that time, England sent a large amount of wool to 
the Continent, which the men of Flanders wove into 
cloth, just as Australia to-day, sends her wool to England 
to be manufactured. With the growth of the English 
cloth trade, the export of wool decreased; the wool tax 
yielded less money, so the subsidy on cloth was intro- 
duced to make up the deficit in the king's treasury. The 
Ulnagers' Accounts are written on a narrow roll of 
parchment, and the roll is preserved in its original quaint 
leathern bag, lettered on the outside. 

There is an account for the West Biding dated 
1396-7, but Halifax is not mentioned. Wakefield is 
credited with 173 J cloths, but as some of the names 
in that account, such as Holds worth, are local surnames, 
it is possible that Halifax cloths were included in that 
total because they were made within the manor of 
Wakefield. Another ulnage roll deals with the year 
1469-70 and Halifax had 853J cloths sealed, while 
Kipon tops the West Eiding hst with 889. The next 
account is for 1471 to 1473. Ripon is first with 1897, 
Halifax second with 1518|^, Leeds, third with only 
3 55 J, and Bradford is seventh with 125|- pieces. In 
the very next list 1473-1475 Halifax becomes first with 
1488|- cloths and the ulnage and subsidy totalled almost 
twenty-five pounds. Ripon, 1386 J was second ; Leeds, 


320, fourth; and Bradford was sixth with 178J. Mr. 
Lister compared the output of the West Riding with 
the famous-cloth producing county of Gloucester. That 
county (leaving out the city of Gloucester) had only 
1024 pieces sealed in 1479 against 2586 for the West 
Biding. In 1475 when the parish of Halifax paid the 
tax on 1488|- cloth, the city of York had a total of 
2346^ pieces. These figures also show how the trade of 
Halifax fluctuated during those nine years. Although 
Halifax was doing better than many woollen centres, it 
had its bad years. If we turn to English history, we 
find that these were troublous years. The battle of 
Stamford was fought in 1470, and in the same year, 
Edward IV. was obliged to flee to Holland for a short 
time. The battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury in 1471 
were victories for Edward. Though the fighting was 
always far away from Halifax, the war had a bad 
effect on trade. For many a summer, it would not be 
safe to send goods to St. Bartholomew's Fair and 
the clothmakers would lose many of their markets. 
We may consider the church tower as a monument of 
that period when Halifax took the first place in the 
West Riding cloth trade. So long as the tower held 
*' the mastery of the air " Halifax maintained its position. 
When mill chimneys came to be built to rival the church 
tower in height, Halifax, as we shall see later, had to 
surrender its proud position in the West Riding trade. 

So little is known of the early traders that the few 
details, preserved in the stock-list of a York tailor, 
are most precious. In 1485 John Carter of York had 
in stock : — 

9^ ells called Halifax-tawny at 7d. 
7 J ells Halifax green, 6s. 


2 J ells in ' remelandes Halifax ' 2s. 

7^ ells Halifax russet 3s. 6d. 

2 ells black Halifax carsay 20d. 

I dozen pairs of boots of Halifax cloth 15s. 
The importance of the cloth trade is the subject 
of some quaint verses, of the time of Edward IV., 
entitled Libel of English Policy. 

*' For every man must have meat, drink, and cloth; 
There is neither pope, emperor nor king. 
Bishop, cardinal, or any man living. 
Of what condition, or what manner degree, 
During their living, they must have things three, 
Meat, drink, and cloth." 

The cloth trade was by far the greatest trade in the 
country, in fact, it was the only national trade. Other 
craftsmen — carpenters, smiths, &c., supplied local de- 
mands, but the weavers made their goods for distant 
parts. The weavers' gild was always the leading gild 
of the city. 

The building of the church and the erection of 
numerous timbered houses testify to the expansion of 
Halifax trade, but the growth is also expressed in many 
other interesting ways. We may fill in some of these 
details from a study of the wills. Every man, who had 
any property, made bis will. There is a huge collection 
of these local wills, preserved at York and from these, 
may be gleaned, many things about the men who made 
them and about the world they lived in. Men left 
their will-making until they were on their death-bed, 
the wills usually, being dated within a week of their 
death. Vicar Wilkinson made his will three years 
before he died, so we conclude from that, that he was 
an invalid for the last three or four years of his life. 
The actual writing of the will was invariably done 


by a priest, because very few laymen could write. 
It was the custom for a man to leave his best horse or 
cow, to the vicar, as a burial fee, and some few shillings 
for church repairs. Next, he would mention a sum for 
candles to be lighted in the church on the day of the 
funeral, and if he could afford, money would be given 
for a priest to sing masses on his soul's behalf. If 
the man was rich, he might bequeath a farm, the rent 
of which would maintain such a service for ever. Some 
left suflficient money to build an addition to the parish 
church, a small side chapel in which their own priest 
might hold services in memory of the donor. In June 
1494, John Willeby endowed such a chantry in Halifax 
Church. The doorway beneath the middle window 
on the south side of the chancel was the entrance to 
the Willeby Chantry Chapel. 

About the beginning of the sixteenth century, these 
religious bequests took a new form. The people of 
Sowerby, Illingworth, Stansfield, Shelf, and other out- 
lying townships were increasing in numbers and wealth. 
They considered it would be more convenient if they 
could attend services nearer their homes instead of 
journeying to Halifax, Elland, or Heptonstall. So lands 
and money were given for the building of chapels at 
Sowerby, Illingworth, Crostone, Coley, and elsewhere, 
and for the maintenance of priests at these chapels. 
A few of the free chapels — e.g. Rastrick — were in exist- 
ence long before the sixteenth century. In other cases, 
like Coley, there had been a private chapel at Coley 
Hall and the neighbours would attend occasional services 
there. The Free Chapels were upheld by the local 
people, who were also responsible for the priest's 
stipend. Sowerby and Illingworth Chapels were built 


to serve the townships of Sowerby and Ovenden. In 
other cases, one chapel served several townships. This 
explains the peculiar situation of Coley Chapel, near 
to the boundaries of Shelf, Northowram, and Hipper- 
holme, for the chapel served parts of the three 
townships. Luddenden Chapel is on the borders of 
Midgley and Warley. Sowerby Bridge Chapel is near 
the junction of the boundaries of Warley, Skircoat, 
Norland, and Sowerby townships. 

Fig. 30.— Pack Horse Road, Hebden Valley. 

Increasing trade meant more traffic along the pack- 
horse roads, so men made charitable bequests towards 
the improvement of the highways and the building of 
new bridges. The old bridges were of wood, liable 
to be swept away by storms. Lee Bridge, on the 
way to Wheatley was so rickety that it was called 
Shakehand Brig. In 1518, Richard Stanclifie left 
£6 3s. 4d. to build a stone bridge in its place. In 
1514, the bridge at Brighouse was still a timber one, 
for 'John Hanson gave three trees for its repair. Forty 
years later, his son left money towards replacing the 
timber bridge by. a stone one. From 1517 to 1533 


several men mention the stone bridge of Sowerby 
Bridge in their wills. In 1533 John Waterhouse 
bequeathed four shillings " towards the battilying " or 
making the parapet, which show^s that the bridge w^as 
near completion. Hebden Bridge and Luddenden Bridge 
were also rebuilt of stone at this time. Elland Bridge 
was rebuilt in 1579, the mason, Bichard Aske, came 
from Hope in Derbyshire. The pack-horse causeways 
were improved and paved by money left by charitable 
persons. John Holdsworth, who lived at Blackledge 
in Halifax left 3s. 4d. for mending the highway between 
his house and the market place. 

From these wills, we find that people had not so 
many new clothes. John Crabtree (1526) gave to his 
father, a blue jacket, a leather doublet, a pair of 
stockings, and a shirt. Margaret Broadley (1546) 
divided her wardrobe as follows — "to Jenet, my better 
gown and my worse kirtle ; to Isabel my worst gown 
and my better kirtle ; and to William's wife my third 
kirtle and best petticoat. Bedclothes were also named 
as legacies. John Holdsworth (1518) left to Margaret 
Boyes, three coverlets, one blanket, two sheets, and 
a bedstead. A will made at Copley Hall in 1533 gives 
us an idea how the house was furnished. There were 
two sideboards, and two forms in the hall, and in the 
best bedroom, one pair of great bedstocks (bedstead) 
and one great chest. In this Will, six draught oxen 
are mentioned, for oxen were used for ploughing. 
Horses, cows, sheep, and hives of bees are common 
bequests. There are also gifts of looms, shears, tenters, 
and dyeing vats. Silver pins, girdles, and spoons were 
left to the girls while the sons received swords, mail 
jackets, bow^s and arrows. 


The growing population required more cultivated 
land. From a set of old deeds, we can trace in detail, 
how some fields were added near Illing worth. The 
farmers, looking around for more land, turned to that 
part of the Wheatley valley that lies under IlUng worth 
Edge. If you stand on the Edge, overlooking Jumples 
and Walt Royd, you have immediately beneath, a steep 
bank covered with heather and bilberry, and strewn 
with rocks. Below the rough ground, cultivated fields 
slope down to the stream. The contrast, between these 
smooth green fields and the wild moorland, is almost 
as striking as a view^ of the ocean from a sea- cliff! Once 
upon a time, the rough land stretched from the edge 
down to the stream and these fields have been won 
from the waste. 

In 1524 William Lister was granted two acres and 
three roods of waste land by Henry Savile, the lord 
of the manor of Ovenden. This land was described 
as lying between Illing worth Edge and Ovenden Wood 
Brook (east and west) ; and Wheatley Walls and the 
house of Richard Wood (south and north). Lister 
commenced to clear this rough land, just as settlers in 
the colonies, to-day, clear the brush or prairie to make 
farms. First of all, he picked out the big stones and 
broke the larger rocks into pieces. Then he carried 
these stones to the edge of his land and built a wall 
around it. The stone walls in our district, not only 
serve as fences, but also solve the difficulty of getting 
rid of the surface rocks and stones. Towards the 
eastern end of the parish, where surface stone is not 
so abundant, hedges were planted. Holly was used for 
fences, because if there were bad harvests, the cattle 
could feed on holly. Lister chopped down the trees. 


uprooted the bushes and shrubs and then dug up the 
land, foot by foot, until it was all turned over. It 
was hard and slow work, but it had to be done, before 
any crop could be grown on the land. For this new 
field, William Lister agreed to pay four silver pennies 
per acre yearly — half at the feast of Pentecost and 
half at the feast of St. Martin, in winter. He also 
promised to obey the Ovenden manor court and to 
use only the lord's mills. The next year, 1525, Lister 
took another acre. In 1532, he reclaimed one rood 
from the waste. In 1535, the grant was three acres, 
and in 1542, one and a quarter acres. So far as we 
can tell, in 18 J years, William Lister added 8 J acres 
to his farm. The small quantities show how dijB&cult 
was the work of making corn fields and meadows from 
the moorland. 

Standing on Illingworth Edge, you will look down 
on these fields with more interest. We know their 
age and the name of the man, one of the ancestors 
of the Listers of Shibden Hall, who first tilled them. 
This is a sample of what was being done in other parts 
of Ovenden. In the three score years, 1521 to 1581, 
280 acres were enclosed from the waste. Exactly the 
same change was being wrought all over the Halifax 

"History of the Woollen Trade in the Halifax and Bradford District." — 
J. Lister. (Bradford Antiquary, Vol. II.) 

'• Halifax Wills." Vols. I and H. (1389-1559). Edited by J. W. Ulay 
and E. W. CrOSSLEY. 

"The Jnmples." — T. W. HANSON. (Halifax Antiquarian Society Trans- 
actions, 1912.) 









The last additions made to the Parish Church were 
the Rokeby Chapel and the Holdsworth Chapel. They 
commemorate two vicars who served Halifax Church for 
the first half of the sixteenth century. William Rokeby 
was born at Kirk Sandal near Doncaster. . He became 
A^icar of the church there, one of the churches included 
in the Warren's grant to the Priory of Lewes. In the 
summer of 1502, he left Kirk Sandal and came to 
Halifax, retaining the Vicarage of Halifax until his 
death in 1521. He was a man of influence and wealth. 
In 1507 he was elected Bishop of Neath in Ireland, and 
in 1511 became Archbishop of Dublin. However, he 
still retained Halifax Church, and we judge that he 
liked our town and spent much of his time here, for he 
beautified much of the vicarage house. We are also 
told that Rokeby " was a Man of Great Hospitality, and 
therefore had the whole of the parish at his Beck and 
Command." Bokeby is an interesting character because 
he played a prominent part in the gorgeous pageantry 
of Henry VIII. 's reign. Some of the Halifax men who 
went with him as servants to London, would have some 
wonderful tales to tell of the great men at Court. 

When Wolsey received the Cardinal's Hat at West- 
minster Abbey on Sunday, November 18th, 1515, the 
Cardinal came with a procession of nobles and gentlemen 



Photo. H. E. Gledhill. 

Fig. 31.— The Rokkky Chapkl. 



to the abbey and mass was sung by the Archbishops of 
Canterbury, Armagh, and DubHn, and sixteen other 
bishops and abbots. The famous Dr. John Colet, Dean 
of St. Paul's, preached the sermon. Afterwards, there 

Fig. 32.— Arms of William Rokkbv, Archbishop of Dublin. 

was another procession of all the great noblemen of 
England, led by the Dukes of Norfolk and Sufiolk, 
followed by the archbishops, bishops, and abbots. 
Cardinal Wolsey's hall and chambers were hung with 


rich arras, and a great feast was made, at which King 
Henry and his queen, and the French queen were 

Archbishop Rokeby was in London again, three 
months later, for the christenmg of Princess Mary — the 
httle baby girl who was destined to be Queen Mary. 
'J'he princess was born in the palace at Greenwich. From 
the court-gate to the church -door of the Friars, an awning 
of arras was erected, and the path covered with sand and 
strewn with rushes. The church was hung with needle- 
work, enriched with precious stones and pearls. The 
ceremony was on Wednesday, February 21st, 1516. 
The procession was headed by a goodly • sight of 
gentlemen and lords ; then followed the Duke of Devon- 
shire bearing the basin ; the Earl of Surrey carrying the 
taper ; the Marquis of Dorset having the salt ; and the 
Lord Chamberlain and the Lord Steward. The canopy 
was earned by four knights, under which walked the 
Countess of Surrey with the Princess in her arms, and 
supported by the Dukes of Norfolk and SuflPolk. The 
Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin, and the Bishops 
of Durham and Chester officiated at the baptism. The 
procession returned with trumpets sounding and the 
king's chaplain singing melodious n^sponds. 

William Rokeby did not live to see the great changes 
that the names of Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII., and 
Princess Mary suggest to us. Fearing his end he made 
farewell gifts to the Prior and Convent of Dublin 
Cathedral in September, 1521. The dying archbishop 
crossed the sea to his native Yorkshire. On November 
29th, he died in Halifax vicarage, lulled to sleep by the 
murmur of the moorland beck. In his day, Halifax was 
as quiet and peaceful as Burnsall in Wharfedale is to-day. 



Fig. 33.— RoKEBY Chapel Screen. 

Photo. G. Hepu'orth. 


His heart was buried in the choir at Hahfax, and his 
body taken to Kirk Sandal, where Rokeby had built a 
beautiful chapel for his tomb. The carving of the oak 
screens is like delicate filigree work, and the Rokeby 
Chapel of Kirk Sandal is considered to be one of the 
finest sepulcharal chapels in the kingdom. Among his 
many bequests, the archbishop desired that a Rokeby 
Chapel should be erected at Halifax, and his chapel was 
added to the north side of the Church. 

Soon after Archbishop liokeby's death, Robert 
Holdsworth, the son of a rich Halifax man, was 
presented to the living of Halifax, by the Prior of 
Lewes, being the last vicar to be nominated by the 
monks. In accordance with his father's wish, he built 
a chantry chapel on the south side of the church. The 
detached buttresses and clumsy gargoyles of the chapel 
have little architectural merit, but the Holdsworth 
Chapel, like the Rokeby Chapel, is a monument of an 
age that has passed. 

Robert Holdsworth was educated at Oxford and 
Rome, where he attracted the notice of the Bishop 
of Worcester — an Italian who was Henry VIII.'s 
ambassador at the Popal Court. Holdsworth became 
chancellor of the diocese of Worcester and also received 
other valuable appointments. There is one interesting 
point worth noting about his rebuilding of the vicarage 
house at Blockley in Worcestershire. It had twelve 
chambers, and it was considered quite a novelty, that 
each bedroom had its own entrance from the landing;. 
It was the usual custom then, to go through the 
bedrooms, one after another, and not to have a passage. 
Dr. Holdsworth's new plan gave more privacy. In 
pulling down an old w^all at Blockley, a treasure trove 



of three hundred pounds was found, which more than 
paid for the alterations. 


Yicar Holdsworth had few peaceful days after he 
came to Halifax. It was a time of fierce strife and 
great disputes, and the vicar was dragged into the 
troubles. First, there was a feud between the men who 
lived within the manor of Wakefield, and those who 
were tenants of the honour of Pontel'ract. The rival 
leaders were Sir Richard Tempest of Boiling Hall, near 
Bradford, and Sir Harry Savile of Thornhill. Sir 
Bichard Tempest had been one of King Henry's body- 
guard and had distinguished himself at the battles of 
Flodden and Tournay. He held the post of steward of 
the great royal manor of Wakefield. Sir Harry Savile 
had been brought up in King Henry's court, and was 
made a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Queen 
Anne Boleyn. He was steward of the honour of 
Pontefract, and also lord of some of the small manors 
about Halifax. 

There were several serious afirays between the 
followers of the contending knights, in which men were 
killed on both sides. Boger Tempest slew Thomas 
Longley with his sword on April 21st, 1518, at 
Brighouse, when Sir Bichard Tempest was holding his 
court there. Boger fled to Durham and sought 
sanctuary at the cathedral. The priests could keep him 
in safety for forty days, after which time he had either 
to appear before a judge or else quit the kingdom. 
Gilbert Brooksbank, a Heptonstall priest, was killed by 
one of Sir Bichard's officers because he had displeased, 
in some manner, the great man. There was a fight at 
Halifax Fair on Midsummer Day, 1533, when Gilbert 
Hanson, deputy bailiff* of Hahfax, and William Biding 
of Elland (one of Savile's men) struck one another, both 
dying from their wounds. There were other cases, but 


these are sufficient to show the bitter enmity between 
the two parties. Di\ Holdsworth took Savile's side, in 
consequence of which his vicarage was pillaged three or 
four times, and he was badly treated. 

Fig. 35.— Sa VILE Badge. Tempest Badge. 

The feud between the men who wore the Savile crest 
— an owl, and the men who bore the Tempest badge — a 
griffin, became a much more serious quarrel after 
October 1536, when the two parties took opposite sides 
in a great national dispute. King Henry closed all the 
smaller monasteries — those whose income did not exceed 
£200 a year — and seized their possessions. In the north 
of England " these proceedings were regarded with a 
spirit of indignation which did not venture to express 
itself elsewhere." The rebellion commenced in Lincoln- 
shire and on Sunday, October 8th, there was a meeting 
of the commons in the Chapter House of Lincoln 
Cathedral. The word "commons" means people, just 
as we call part of our Parliament the House of Commons. 
Into the meeting came two Halifax men, who said their 
country was also up, and ready to aid Lincolnshire, and 
the news roused the commons to great excitement. 
Robej^t Aske, a Yorkshireman, was the captain of the 
insurgents, and the rising is known as the Pilgrimage of 
Grace. Those who joined the movement bore a badge 
representing the Five Wounds of Christ. In the centre 
of the badge was a bleeding heart, and at the four 
corners, pierced hands and feet. 


The following scene was witnessed in the streets of 
Halifax. A group of men were standing talking 
together, when up came John Lacy, son-in-law and 
bailiff of Sir Richard Tempest, and spoke to Henry 
Farrer of Ewood Hall, who was one of the group. Lacy 
" commanded Farrer and the rest that they should 
prepare themselves in harness, and go to the church and 
take the cross, march with it into Lancashire and raise 
the commons there." Farrer asked "Who shall go with 
us into Lancashire with the cross?" Lacy replied 
"Marry! your ownself shall go and your company." 
Farrar again asked "Why will not Sir Richard Tempest 
go with us ? " Lacy said " No marry! but yourself." 

We have no particulars about this journey into 
Lancashire, but afterwards it was stated that Sir 
Richard Tempest's brother and servants were the first 
captains to come into Lancashire. 

Sir Henry Savile, gathering his tenants and retainers 
together for the other side, marched from Thornhill to 
join the King's forces at Nottingham. The rebels were 
too strong for the royal army, and therefore the Duke of 
Norfolk came to terms with them, published the King's 
pardon, made a truce, and so ended the Pilgrimage of 
Grace. The day before the truce was made, on October 
26th, John Lacy and a band of his adherents made a 
raid on Halifax vicarage, looting it and sending part of 
the spoil to Captain Robert Aske. Vicar Holds worth 
took the side of Sir Henry Savile, not because he 
approved of the spoiling of the monasteries, but because 
of the local feud. On December 14th, 1536, Clarencieux 
King-at-Arms, the royal herald, stood at the Cross in 
Old Market and proclaimed the King's pardon to all who 


had rebelled against their sovereign. The herald noted 
that John Lacy was in the crowd at the time. 

The King's Secretary, Thomas Cromwell, had such a 
system of spies that we find that private talks in such an 
out-of-the-way corner as Halifax came to the ear of the 
King. Vicar Holdsworth was walking to and fro in his 
parlour, discussing the times with his servant, William 
Rodeman, when he said "By my troth ! William, if the King 
reign any space he will take all from us of the Church ; all 
that we have ; and therefore I pray God send him short 
reign." The vicar had to appear in London, and was 
heavily fined for uttering such treacherous words. 

John Lacy of Cromwell Bottom made a rhyme about 
the King, and sent it to Robert Waterhouse of Halifax. 

" As for the King, an apple and a fair wench 
to dally withal, would please him very well." 

To US, there does not appear much rhyme nor much 
harm in the words, but they reached Thomas Cromwell, 
and Lacy was in danger of losing his head. It was an 
age of sneaks and tell-tales, and Savile's men were ready 
to tell Cromwell's spies tales about the other side, and 
Tempest's men were equally willing to damage their 
opponents in the same way. 

Henry VHI. did not keep his promises to redress 
the grievances of the men who had joined the Pilgrimage 
of Grace. Listead of doing so, he put to death the 
leaders of the rebellion. Sir Richard Tempest was 
thrown into the Tower to await his trial, but he died in 
that plague-stricken prison. The King proceeded with 
the spoliation of the monasteries, and he gave to Thomas 
Cromwell, the Priory of Lewes and all its possessions, 
excepting its Norfolk lands. The beautiful abbey was 
ruthlessly destroyed, the stone sold for building, the 


lead roofs melted down and carted away. Giovanni 
Portinari, an Italian, superintended the work, and he 
tells how they hewed great holes in the walls, then 
propped the pillars and walls with props a yard long, 
finally setting fire to the props whereupon the building- 
came crashing down. 

Lord Cromwell thus came into possession of all the 
rights that the Prior of Lewes had in Halifax Parish. 
Thus the connection between Plalifax and Lewes that 
had continued for centuries came to its final end. A few 
years before this, the Prior had leased his rights to 
Kobert Waterhouse of Shibden Hall for a fixed sum of 
money to be paid yearly and Cromwell continued the 

Robert Waterhouse stirred up a great dispute in the 
parish by his methods of collecting the Great Tithes. 
According to the original definition of tithes, the Church 
was entitled to one-tenth of the crops of corn and hay. 
But as time went on, this had been altered to a fixed 
sum of money that was paid whether the crops were 
good or bad. The farmer knew exactly what he would 
have to pay, and the monks had a certain income. 
Waterhouse sued some Halifax men for a tenth of their 
actual crops, and a great lawsuit was commenced. 
Gilbert Waterhouse picked a quarrel with George 
Crowther, one of the men who opposed the demands, 
and on a dark February night in 1535, Gilbert struck 
Crowther with a dagger and killed him. At length the 
Great Tithes dispute was settled, and the agreement for 
paying in money instead of in " kind " was read at a 
public meeting held in Halifax Church. 

Edward YI. was only nine years old when he 
succeeded to the throne on the death of his father. 


Henry VIII. The boy-king's counsellors made further 
great changes in tho church now that the Pope's 
supremacy had been abolished. The chantry chapels 
were closed and their lands confiscated. This was a 
great hardship for our parish, for Rastrick, Coley, 
Sowerby, Lightcliffe, and the other chapels were shut up, 
and Heptonstall Chapel was only spared through the 
influence of the Saviles. The Parish Church at Halifax 
had once again to serve our wide and hilly parish and a 
population calculated at 10,000. 

Dr. Robert Holdsworth lived to see Queen Mary on 
the throne. Though he had taken the King's side 
during the tremendous upheaval in the Church, he 
certainly was not one of the reforming clergymen. His 
enemies said at one time that he "hath not preached nor 
caused to be preached to his parishoners at Halifax, ten 
thousand people or more, the word of God, but only two 
times at the most these six years past." In November, 
1538, Robert Ferrar, Prior of St. Oswald's at Nostell, 
writing to Lord Cromwell, says 'Hhat there be almost 
none in these parts that sincerely, plainly, and diligently 
preach the Gospel, the people so hungrily desire to hear 
and to learn. Truly these towns (Halifax and seven 
more are named) with many others have not, all, one 
faithful preacher that I can hear of." 

About eleven o'clock on a Saturday night, the 8th of 
May, 1556, the vicarage was pillaged for the fifth time 
and the aged priest brutally murdered. Dr. Holdsworth 
was buried in the south chapel, of the Parish Church, 
which he had built. 

Robert Ferrar, the last Prior of Nostell, is said to 
have been born at Ewood near Mytholmroyd. He was 
one of the Reformers, and became Bishop of St. David's 


in Wales in 1548. Bishop Ferrar was one of the martyrs 
in Queen Mary's reign, and was burnt at Caermarthen 
Cross on March 30th, 1555. On being chained to the 
stake, he said " If I stir through the pains of my 
burning, believe not the doctrine I have preached." In 
Halifax Parish Church, there is a 19th century monument 
to Bishop Ferrar, carved by Leyland, a Halifax sculptor, 
and in the vestry is a deed relating to some property 
near Bradford, which has the Bishop's signature. 

"Archbishop Rokeby," by T. W. HANSON, (Halifax Antiquarian Society 
Transactions, 1918). 

"Life of Dr. Holdsworth, " by J. Lister (Halifax Antiquarian Society 

Transactions — 1902 to 1908), 





Beacon Hill, crowned with the reproduction of an 
ancient beacon-pan, continually reminds Halifax of 
Elizabethan days and the Armada. Southowram's 
Beacon was not in the principal chain of fires that 
passed on the news from the south, 

"Till Skiddaw saw the fire that burned on Gaunt's embattled pile, 
And the red glare on Skiddaw roused the burghers of Carlisle." 

But it helped to spread the alarm east and west. 
Revey Beacon at Hortoii Bank Top, near Bradford ; 
Castle Hill, Almondbury, near Huddersfield ; and 
Blackstone Edge were the neighbouring links in the 
great chain, and watchers on Beacon Hill would keep 
their eyes on those points. 


Eight years after the great victory over the Spanish 
Armada, we find that HaUfax men were objecting to 
paying towards the navy. In those days it was 
considered to be the duty of the sea-ports to provide the 
defences of our shores and shipping, while the inland 
towns maintained the army. In 1596, the port of Hull 
was required to furnish a ship for the Queen's Navy. 
The Mayor and Aldermen of Hull wrote to Lord Cecil, 
asking that Halifax, Wakefield, and Leeds should pay 
four hundred pounds towards their ship-of-w^ar. They 
said that these places were thi'ee great and rich clothing 
towns, sending their cloth to Hull to be shipped across 
the seas. The navy protected the shipping and the 
cloth that was in the ships. But Halifax men thought 
they were paying their share in the maintenance of the 
land forces. 

At the same time, our forefathers were ready to 
fight for the Queen in their own way, and when they 
thought it was their duty. In 1569 there was a 
rebellion in favour of the old religion and Mary, Queen 
of Scots, which was called the Hising in the North. 

j^rchbishop Grindal, writing to Queen Elizabeth in 
1576, said *' And in the time of that rebellion were not 
all men . . . most ready to offer their lives for your 
defence ? In-so-much that one poor parish in Yorkshire, 
which by continual preaching had been better instructed 
than the rest, (Halifax I mean) was ready to bring three 
or four thousand able men into the field to serve you 
aofainst the said rebels." 

This "continual preaching" was carried on by a long 
succession of Halifax vicars who were Puritans — men 
who desired to remove all traces of the old religion from 
their church. Bishop Pilkington Halifax on 



August 31st, 1559, and "the congregation listened 
with joy." 

DR. FAVOUR. 105 

The most famous of the vicars of this period was 
John Favour, who was at HaHfax for over thh'ty years 
(1593-1624). He came here from Southampton five 
years after the defeat of the Armada, and he was able 
to tell Halifax men about the sea and ships, and stories 
of the great victory. In his book he speaks of striking 
top-sails, of top and top-gallant sails, of boarding, and 
other nautical terms. Dr. Favour was chaplain to the 
Earl of Huntingdon, President of the Council of the 
North. The Earl was present in Halifax when Favour 
was admitted to the vicariate. Within a few days they 
were both back at York on important business. On 
December 6th, 15D3, Henry Walpole and two friends 
landed at Flamborough Head with the intention of 
converting the Queen and the English people to the 
Roman Catholic religion. The trio were caught within 
twenty-four hours of landing and taken to York. 
Walpole was a Jesuit priest and his fate was certain to 
be a horrible death. He was forced to debate in public, 
the claims of his religion, and Dr. Favour was one of the 
champions put up to answer him. Favour also debated 
with other priests who were caught from time to time. 
There was no idea of toleration in Elizabeth's reign, and 
Dr. Favour in his book " Antiquity triumphing over 
Novelty," glories in the part he took in sending these 
poor men to their death. He actually considers it his 
best work. The reports of these debates are preserved 
in the Records Office, and the handwriting shows the 
effect of the torture on the priests' wrists. From them 
we learn that Favour wrote witty verse, and that in the 
kitchen of the York prison, he prided himself that his 
face resembled the portraits of Jesus. There is a bust of 
the vicar on his monument in Halifax Church. 


Vicar Favour exercised a great influence over the 
people of Halifax as a faithful minister. In the Registers 
he often adds a short note about the character of the 

Fig. 37.— Dr. Favour's Monument. 

men and women he buried, sometimes good, sometimes 
bad, for example : — 

1597, Jan. 24 — William King of Skircoat "was a swearer, 
drinker ... his last words were oaths and curses." 

1600, April 15 — Richard Learoyd, 88 years, honest. 

1600, May 30 — Richard Whitaker of Skircoat, "truly pious 
and religious." 


In 1609, the vicar buried two men who had been to 
church and were so vexed at what the preacher said, 
that they vowed they would never come to church again. 
Favour notes that " both fell presently sick and never 
came to the church but to be buried." 

Dr. Favour was the prime mover in the establishment 
of Heath Grammar School. The Queen's Charter had 
been obtained in 1585 — over eight years before Vicar 
Favour came to Halifax — but the school was not opened 
until 1600, and the vicar had to work hard to accomplish 
his desire. Its title — " The Free Grammar School of 
Queen Elizabeth " — tells us something of the history of 
the school. There had been schools in Halifax before 
this time, though we know little about them. But in 
Elizabethan times there yas a desire to have new and 
good schools, and a E-oyal Charter had to be obtained 
before such a grammar school could be erected. This 
name is perpetuated in the lane known as Free School 
Lane, and it is worth noting that the old road to the 
school was up Shaw Hill and Free School Lane. 

Over the door of the headmaster's house, facing 
Skircoat Green Road, is a stone which was removed from 
the old building. It bears a Latin inscription which 
says the land was bad and barren, but through the grace 
of Queen Elizabeth this school was erected, and it was 
hoped it would be a blessing to the people. The only 
other relic of the old school is the circular "apple and 
pear " window which has been rebuilt into the shed next 
to the school. The Grammar School was to serve the 
ancient Parish of Halifax, and was built in Skircoat 
because the plot of land was given by one of the first 
benefactors. Dr. Favour persevered until he got 
sufficient money to build the school, and an endowment 
fund to pay the schoolmaster. 


Three hundred years ago, schools were very different 
from what they are nowadays. Sphool commenced at 
six o'clock in the morning, and at nine there was a 
quarter of an hour's playtime. Then work went on 
until eleven when there was a two hours interval for 
dinner. Lessons were resumed at one, and continued 
until half past three, when another quarter of an hour 
playtime was given, after which it was school again 
until half past five. What long days ! 

In the Brearcliffe Manuscript, there is a copy of the 
rules of Heath Grammar School, in those early days. 

The boys were required to go early to the school 
without noise, lingering, or playing by the way, taking 
off their caps to those they met. 

Boys who would not be corrected, or complained of 
their correction, or who told out of school of punishment 
given, were to be expelled unless they humbled them- 
selves and obeyed the master. 

Scholars who let their hair grow long or came with 
face and hands unwashed were to be severely punished. 

Two monitors were appointed weekly to set down 
the faults of boys in the school or church, or in the town 
and highways. Their duty was to hand a report to the 
master, and if they failed to do so, the monitors were 
punished for the faults of others. 

Boys were not to use railing, wrangling, nor fighting, 
nor were they to give nicknames to their companions or 
to any strangers. 

They must ever have books, pens, paper, and ink in 
readiness, and must not rend or lose their books, but 
handsomely carry and re-carry them. 

The scholars were to speak in Latin and not English 
while in school. 


There was one half-day holiday per week, and that 
was on Thursday afternoon, but there was homework for 
that day. 

In these Orders, ''correcting with a rod" is often 
mentioned, for the boys of long ago received plenty of 
floggings at school. 

Henry Savile, who was born at Bradley Hall, 
Stainlancl, "on November 30th, 1549, is one of the most 
famous men our parish has produced. In due time he 
went to JMerton College at Oxford, and was afterwards 
appointed Greek tutor to Queen Elizabeth, and was said 
to be. the most learned man of her reign. He published 
an edition of the works of St. Chrysostom —one of the 
early Christian Fathers. In addition to a great amount 
of work and study, these books cost him £8,000. Sir 
Henry Savile was one of the foremost translators of the 
Authorised Version of the Bible published in 1611, and 
being a Greek scholar, he was principally engaged on 
the New Testament. 

John Bois, a great Hebrew scholar who translated a 
large portion of the Old Testament, was the grandson of 
Mr. Bois, a Halifax clothier. 

Sir Henry Savile was also a student of geometry and 
astronomy, and to-day there is a professor of these 
subjects in Oxford who is paid by the money that Savile 
left for this purpose. 

Another friend of this learned and rich Halifax man 
was Henry Briggs, who became one of the Savilian 
Professors at Oxford. Briggs was born at Daisy Bank, 
War ley Wood in 1561. (Daisy Bank Farm is just below 
the modern Burnley Boad, a few hundred yards before 
you come to the first houses of Luddenden Foot). 



Henry Briggs' fame is due to his association with the 
invention of logarithms. Lord Napier was the actual 
inventor in 1614, but Briggs discovered a better and 
easier way which is used to day and known as 
" Briggian Logarithms." In 1617, Briggs published 
the first table of logs of numbers up to 1,000. These 

Fig. 38.— Chained Book. Henry Briggs' Gift. 

w-ere calculated to 14 places of decimals, and in 1624 
he had made the calculations for 30,000 numbers. 
Astronomers, navigators, and all men who have occasion 
to multiply or divide large numbers, in their calculations 
always refer to a book of logs, for it is as easy to use as a 
ready reckoner. 

Camden's visit. Ill 

In 1627, Henry Brings presented three volumes of 
De Thou's History to the "public library" in Halifax 
Parish Church. The books are still there with this 
interesting inscription. One of them has a brass plate 
to which was attached the chains, for, as in most old 
libraries, the books were chained to the shelves. Robert 
Clay, who was vicar from 1623 to 1628, took a great 
interest in the library, and many volumes were added at 
this time. 

About the year 1580, William Camden, the antiquary, 
visited the Saviles at Bradley Hall when he was 
collecting information for his great book "Britannia," a 
description of England. Some of his Halifax friends 
told him the following story or tradition to account for 
the name of Halifax. A certain clergyman, being in 
love with a young woman and not being able to persuade 
her, cut ofi her head. It was afterwards hung up in a 
yew tree, and was esteemed and visited by the people as 
holy. So many pilgrims resorted to the place that it 
became a lar^e town, and was called Hali-fax or Holy 
Hair. There is not one iota of proof for the story, or the 
derivation, nor the slightest hint of such a tradition in 
any early accounts of our town. It has been repeated 
many times since Camden wrote it, but we can be certain 
that Camden was wrong. 

There is one interesting statement in the "Britannia," 
which is meant to impress the reader with the importance 
of the cloth manufacture in the district. Camden 
asserted, that in Halifax Parish, the number of men was 
greater than the total of cows, horses, sheep, and other 
animals ; while in the rest of England there were more 
animals than people. This was because Halifax lived by 
cloth making and not by farming. 


There are two valuable references to the local trade 
in the sixteenth century, which may conveniently be 
introduced here. About 1533, King Henry VIII. sent 
a commission to the clothing towns of the West Hiding 
to enquire into the practice of mixing flocks with the 
wool of their cloths. In the list of men charged with 
this offence are the names of 282 clothiers in the parish 
of Halifax, who had from half-a-piece to three pieces each, 
condemned. This document is extremely valuable, for it 
shows the magnitude of the trade, and gives such a long 
list of the names of men who were making clotli in our 
parish at that time. 

In the last years of Henry VIII. 's reign, parliament 
abolished the trade of " wool driving " or wool stapling. 
The act forbade men to buy wool and to hold it until the 
price was forced up. The abolition of the wool dealer 
proved to be very inconvenient for "Halifax trade, and 
consequently a special act of parliament was passed in 
the reign of Philip and Mary to remedy this local 
grievance. The introduction to the act states that in 
the parish of Halifax, are great wastes and moors, where 
the ground, save in rare places, is not apt to produce any 
corn or good grass, except by the great industry of the 
people. Consequently the inhabitants live by cloth 
making, and the great part of them neither grow corn 
nor are able to keep a horse to carry their wool. Their 
custom had been to go to the town of Halifax, and to 
buy from the wool driver, some a stone, some two, and 
some three or four according to their means. They 
carried this wool upon their heads and backs to their 
homes, three, four, five, or six miles away. The wool 
was converted into yarn or cloth and sold, and then more 
wool was bought. By means of this industry, the barren 


grounds were populated. An increase of five hundred 
households within the previous forty years, was recorded. 
The trade was threatened with ruin if these clothiers 
could not obtain the wool in small quantities. The new 
act made it lawful for wool drivers to sell wool in the 
town of Halifax, provided it was sold to the small 
makers. They were not to sell wool to the wealthy 
clothiers, nor to any other to sell again. Offenders 
against this act were to forfeit double the value of the 
wool so sold. 

" Chapters on theearly registersof Halifax Parish Church," by E. J. Walkef» 

"Heath Grammar School," by T. Cox. 

*' Dr. Favour," by T. W. Hanson. (Hx. Anti [uariaa Socy. Transactions, 1910), 

Dr. Favour's "Antiquite triumphing over Noveltie," by T. W. HANSON. 
(Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1911). 

"Bradley Hall," by J. Lister. Halifax Antiqnarian Society TransactionSy 

Henry Briggs in "Dictionary of National Biography." 


17th century houses JAMES MURGATROYD — 


The Parish of Halifax is particularly rich in a large 
number of handsome seventeenth-century houses that 
are scattered on all the hill-sides. A description of 
some of these houses will serve as a useful preface to our 
account of the stirring events of the seventeenth cen- 
tury ; and an actual visit to some of these old homesteads 
will help to make the history more real. 

The houses were usually built of large blocks of 
millstone grit, which is very durable and turns to a 
pleasing grey colour. Modern builders use a softer 




I life i 



sandstone, which is obtained from deep quarries at 
Southowram, Eingby, and elsewhere. In olden days, 

Photo. B. P. Kemlall, 

Fig. '40 —Lee House or .Spring Gardens, Ovenden Wood. 
H.M. 1625. (Henry Murgatroyd). Showing Seam Pointing. 

the rocks that lay close to the surface had to be used, 
and the gritstone caps the hills to the west of Halifax. 


In Hipperholme and towards the eastern end of the 
parish smaller blocks of sandstone were used. These 
houses have a number of gables, and a many-gabled 
house is always more picturesque than a plain -fronted 
one. The builders erected handsome projecting porches 
to the main entrance. Seventeenth century chimneys 
are built of large stones, and are bold, square erections 
v^hich give a good finish to the house. One local 
peculiarity is seam-pointing. The joints of the chimneys 
and the roof- ridge are pointed with lime, and then 
painted white. The white lines are in striking contrast 
to the dark stone. There were no troughings or fall- 
pipes to catch the rain water. The rain ran down into 
the gutters of the roof, and large stone water-spouts 
threw the streams of water clear of the walls. At the 
apex of each gable was a carved finial of varied designs. 
Sometimes a square finial served as a sundial, as at 
Wood Lane Hall (Sowerby), Ovenden Hall, and Halifax 
and Elland Churches. 

The windows may be considered the main features of 
these houses, and they are the best guide in judging 
whether a house belongs to this period or not. They 
are long — filling almost the width of the room — 
low in proportion, and divided into half-a-dozen or 
more lights by stone muUions. These upright blocks 
of gritstone are bevelled on each side so that they 
do not block out too much light. Where the window 
has two or more tiers of lights, the horizontal stone 
divisions, called transoms, are also bevelled, as also are 
the window sills and the top stones. The whole window 
is deeply recessed into the thick walls. Above each 
window is a stone moulding, which prevents the rain 
that runs down the house-front from dripping into the 





Some Details, 




Fig. 41. 



window, just as the eye-brow protects the eye. The 
ends of these drip-stones are carved, and these carved 
terminals are of many patterns. The chamber, or 
bedroom window, often has two lights above four, or 
three over five lights, thus following the line of the 

Photo. H. P. Kendall. 

Fig. 42.— Norland Hall Doorway. IT. H.T. 1672. 
(Joseph Taylor and his wife.) 

gable. Such windows are only to be found in our district. 
Then there are the circular wheel or rose windows which 
light the porch chamber at such houses as Kershaw 
House, Luddenden; New Hall, Elland; and Barkisland 



It was the custom for the owner of the house to carve 
over his doorway the date of the building, and the initials 
of himself and his wife. For instance: — 

Photo. H. P. Kendall. 

Fig. 43.— High Sundebland, South Pouch. 

Long Can, Ovenden Wood, I.M.M. 1637 — John and Mary Murgatroyd. 
Shaw Hill doorway at the corner of Simmonds Lane, I.E.L. 1697 — 

Joshua Laycock and his wife. 
Back Hall, Siddal, T.H.E. 1668— Thomas and Esther Hanson. 
Kbrshaw House, Luddenden Lane, 1650, T.M., A.M. — Thomas and 

Anna Murgatroyd. 


Instead of initials and dates, some houses bear the 
€oat-of-arms of the owner. On the front of High 
Sunderland are the arms of Sunderland and Eish worth 

Photo H. P. Kendall 

Fig. 44.— High Sunderland Gateway. 

families. Over the south door of Back Hall, Siddal, are 
the Hanson arms surrounded by shields of other families 
into which Hansons had married. 

High Sunderland has also some interesting mottoes 



carved on the stones. On the south front are four lines 
of Latin which translated read: — 

'* May the Almighty grant that the race of Sunderland may quietly 
inhabit this seat, and maintain the rights of their ancestors, free 
from strife, until an ant drink up the waters of the sea, and a 
tortoise walk round the whole world." 

Over the south door, in Latin: — 

** This place hates, loves, punishes, observes, honours — 

Negligence, peace, crimes, laws, virtuous persons." 

At Back Hall is this text, in Greek: — 

*♦ He that loveth houses or lands more than Me is not worthy of Me." 

Photo. H. P. KemUai. 

Fig. 45.— Barkisland Hall (1638). 

Over the doorway of Barkisland Hall, John Gledhill, 
the builder in 1638, had a Latin motto cut which means: — 

" Once his, now mine, but I know not whose afterwards." 

Oliver Hey wood's house has the single word 
" Ebenezer," while at Scout Hall there is a carving 
of a fox-hunt. 

These inscriptions give us a clue to the characters 
of the men who erected the houses. A Greek text 
indicates a scholar, the hunting scene denotes a 
sportsman, Biblical quotations come from the religious, 




while the heraldic door-head proves the builder to have 
been proud of his ancestry. 

Photo. H. P. Kemlall. 

Fig. 46.— Oak Frieze, Norland Hall. 

Fig. 47.— Plaster Ceilkn(j 



The interiors of these old halls were also handsome, 
but most of them have been altered at various times 
during the three hundred years since they were built, 
and opportunities of viewing these interiors are com- 
paratively rare, whilst it is always easy to see the 
exteriors of the houses. The carved oak furniture — 

Photo. H. F. Kendall 
Fig. 48.— Plaster Work, from Bin Royp, Norland, 
Now in Bankfield Museum. 

chairs, chests, and bedsteads — have been bought by 
collectors, and the oak panelling of the rooms is coveted 
and removed. Panelled rooms and halls, oak galleries 
and staircases, and elaborately carved oak mantel-pieces 
still survive in such houses as Howroyd, Barkisland ; 
Clay House, Greetland; New Hall, Elland; and the Old 
Cock Hotel, Halifax. 


The men of the seventeenth century decorated their 
homes with ornamental plaster-work. In Bankfield 
Museum is a deep heraldic plaster-work frieze that was 
removed from Binn Royd, Norland, when the old farm- 
house was demolished. There is a similar frieze in the 

Photo. H. P. Kendall. 
Fig. 49.— Upi'ER Rookks (1589). 

bedrooms at Marsh Hall, Northowram, and in the same 
house is a beautiful plaster ceiling. The Mulcture Hall 
in Halifax boasts a good ceiling. In many cases the 
chimney-breast was adorned with the Royal Arms in 
plaster- work, as at New Hall, Elland ; and Norland 
Lower Hall. 

At Upper Saltonstall, and at the Fold, Mixenden, 
are to be seen specimens of the old stone ovens. They 

17th cej^tury houses. 


are shaped like a beehive, and about three feet high. 
A charcoal fire was made inside the oven, and the oven 
closed, until the stones became very hot. Then the fire 
was raked out, the bread put in, and the oven closed 
again until the baking was completed. At Broadbottom, 
near Mytholmroyd, are the remains of a stone oven, in 
front of the house. 

I'hoto. H. P. Kendall. 

Fig. 50,— Peel House, Warley (1598). 

Photo, H.P.KendalL 
Fif>. 51.— Wood Lane Hall, Sowerbt (1649). 

Mr. Ambler's book on " The Manor Houses of 
Yorkshire" contains many beautiful photographs and 
detailed drawings of Halifax houses, and comparison can 
be made between our local examples and other Yorkshire 
houses. We can gain one important idea from the book. 
There are larger and more beautiful halls in the agri- 
cultural parts of the county, but they are situated far 
apart from one another. The rich men who built the more 
imposing halls owned miles of country, and considered 
themselves to be of a higher class altogether than the 
ordinary people who lived within their domain. In the 
Parish of Halifax, instead of a few such lordly palaces, 
we have a very large number of good medium-sized houses. 



They are evidence that Halifax men were making money 
out of trade, and that the prosperity was shared among a 

Fig. 52.-STAIXED Glass, Shibden Ham.. 

Photo. H. 1'. Kendall 

17th century houses. 127 

large number of substantial yeomen, whereas in other 
parts of the county, the riches were in the hands of a 
few of the gentry. 

In?Bankfield Museum, there is a large collection of 
photographs and sketches of these seventeenth century 
halls. Study them by all means and compare the details 

Photo. G, E. Snoxell 

of one house with others, but don't be content with 
illustrations. Take walks along any of our hill-sides — • 
Norland, Sowerby, Luddenden Dean, Shibden Dale, 
Warley — and you will easily find some of the old halls, 
and take notice — and sketches — of the details of the 



buildings, the dates and initials over the doorheads, and 
perchance, get a peep inside some of them. 

Photo. H. P. Kendall. 

Fig. 54.— Bai.l Green, Sowerhy (1634). 

Street improvements have practically cleared away 
the seventeenth century houses from the town of 
Halifax, but there are several close at hand, such as 

1 7th century houses. 


Haugh Shaw House, Allan Fold, Warley Eoad, Willow 
Hall at Cote Hill, and quite a cluster of them near the 
Boothtown tram stage. 

ii^^^^Bilk^ : jc'; ^ "'': ^ 

"HP* -t'THl/I^^^V^^^Bb Jt^H^im^l 

Fin. 00.— I'pj'KH Willow IIali 

James Murgatroyd of Murgatroyd (or the Hollins) 
in Warley was the greatest builder of these fine seven- 
teenth century houses in the Parish of Halifax. Most 
men were quite content to rebuild their own homesteads, 
but as Murgatroyd grew richer and added farm to farm 
in Warley, Ovenden, and other townships, he took a 
pride in erecting handsome houses. To him, we owe 
Haigh House, Warley (1631), Long Can (1637), Yew 



Tree (1643) in Ovenden Wood, and Kershaw House 
(1650) in Luddenden Lane, which is one of the finest 
of our local halls. James Murgatroyd received by his 
father's will, all the looms, presses, shears, etc.., which 
were standing in his shop, so it is evident that part of 

Fig. 56.— IJpi'ER Willow Hall 

Photo. H. P. Kendall. 

his immense fortune was made in the w^oollen trade. 
About 1640, Mr. Murgatroyd removed his home to 
East Riddlesden Hall, near Keighley, and there built 
the house in such style as to make it one of the largest 
and most imposing halls in Airedale. 

In connection with his Airedale estates, Murgatroyd 



had to provide yearly a hen for Lady Anne CHfiord of 
Skipton Castle as part of the rent. It was a relic of the 
ancient manorial times when rents were paid in kind, of 

Fij>. 57.— (Jatf.way, Lower Willow 
(now use«l as a cottage). 

Photo. H. F Kendall 




Fig. 58.— Long Can, Ovenden Wood (1637). Photo, h. p. Keodm. 

Fig 59.— Yew Tree Ovendex Wood (1643). 

Photo, n. r Kendall 



which we spoke in an early chapter. Murgatroyd said 
the custom was obsolete and refused to find the hen. 
He was sued at York, and Lady Anne won. When the 
dispute was settled, she invited Mr. Murgatroyd to 
dinner at Skipton Castle, and the hen was under one of 
the covers. We can imagine what they would talk 

Fig. 60. 



about after dinner for "her passion 
mortar was immense." She re-built six 
seven churches, built almshouses, and 

The Murgatroyds suffered much 
James Murgatroyd paid £850 in fines- 

Photo, <T. Whitaker. 

for bricks and 
castles, restored 
erected several 

in the courts. 
-£500 of which 


went to the repairing of Old St. Paul's, London — for 
some offence he and his sons committed at Luddenden 
Chapel. His sons were also most unjustly imprisoned 
and fined, many years later, through being bond for a 
nephew. Tradition says that the River Aire changed 
its course at Riddlesden, and refused to flow past the 
Hall because the Murgatroyds had to sell it. 

Nathaniel Waterhouse, the great Halifax benefactor, 
was making his fortune in the first half of the seventeenth 
century, by dealing in oil and the salts used by dyers. 
We do not know exactly where his home was, but he 
owned Bank House, Salterhebble, the white-washed 
house which stands near the railway and overlooks the 
sewage works. Bank House is still held by the Water- 
house Trustees, and its rent helps to pay for some of 
his schemes. 

A Workhouse was built by Nathaniel Waterhouse, 
somewhere near the Parish Church, for which he obtained 
a charter from Charles I. in 1635 in order to relieve the 
poor. This charter empowered the Master and Governors 
of the Workhouse to take idle vagabonds, ruffians, and 
sturdy beggars, place them in the Workhouse, and set 
them to work spinning wool or making bone-lace. A 
whipping-stock was erected in the workhouse, and those 
wlio were idle, or who spoilt or stole their work were 
flogged. In the first three years, seventy men and 
women were whipped, and some of them repeatedly. 

Nathaniel Waterhouse also founded some almshouses 
for twelve poor persons to live in. By his will, he left 
money for their maintenance, and also a sum to buy 
black clothes for them. Mr. Waterhouse died in the 
first week of June, 1645, and as he had no children, he 
left his lands and monev for the benefit of the town. 



**The Church and Poor I left my Heirs ; 
My Friends to order my Affairs." 

One of his house)s was to be altered to make a home 
for ten orphan girls and ten orphan boys, who were to 
be taught a trade. They were to be dressed in blue 
coats. In 1853, the Trustees obtained power to sell 
these old buildings down by the Parish Church, and 
to build new Almshouses and Bluecoat School, on 
Harrison Road. 

Fig. 61.— Bank Housk, Salterhebblk. 

Photo, II. p. Kendall. 

A few pounds per year were to be given to the 
ministers of the twelve Chapels In the Parish- -Coley, 
Illingworth, Sowerby Bridge, Rastrick, etc. On the first 
Wednesday in each month, these ministers in turn had 
to preach a sermon in the Parish Church, and these 
Waterhouse Sermons have been given regularly ever since. 


Money was also bequeathed for repairing the roads 
leading from Halifax to Bradford, Wakefield, and South- 
owram. On the top of the hill opposite the Tannery at 
Hipperholme, is a stone (like a mile-stone) which records 
one of these gifts. The will also mentions the highway 
between Spright Smithy and Southowram Bank. Spright 
Smithy would probably be at Smithy Stake, where a 
stake had been driven into the ground, to which 
horses were tethered when they needed shoeing. 

The Waterhouse Charity has become richer with time, 
because the land has increased in value. In 1645, the 
income was £131; in 1745, £248; in 1845, £1,350; and 
in 1895, £2,353. 

About the year 1634, a young doctor, Thomas 
Browne, came to live at Upper Shibden Hall, near the 
head of Shibden Dale. The old house has been 
demolished, so we cannot visit the exact place. To us 
it seems an out-of-the-way place for a doctor's surgery, 
but we must remember it was not far away from the old 
Halifax to Bradford Koad. While Dr. Browne was 
living in Shibden, he wrote one of the most famous of 
Enghsh books " Beligio Medici," or "A Doctor's 

"This, I confess," he says in the preface, "for my 
private exercise and satisfaction, I had at leisurable 
hours composed. It was penned in such a place, and 
with such disadvantage, that, I protest, from the first 
setting of pen unto paper, I had not the assistance of 
any good book whereby to promote my invention, or 
relieve my memory." 

Thomas Browne was in his thirtieth year when he 
wrote his masterpiece, though it was not published until 
some years afterwards. He did not stay long in Halifax, 


and subsequently removed to Norwich, became a famous 
citizen, and was knighted by King Charles. There is a 
statue of Sir Thomas Browne in Norwich. 

"The Old Halls and Manor-houses of Yorkshire,"' by LouiS Ambler. 

*' Halifax Antiquarian Society's Transactions." — The papers read at the 
summer excursions contain a mine of information about local 17th century 









The reign of Charles I. is one of the most important 
periods in English history, and our story will show how 
the great national events affected Halifax. One of King 
Charles's troubles was his want of money. He dared 
not call his Parliament together and ask them for a 
grant, because Parliament would have asked how he 
intended to spend the money, and how he intended to 
govern. The King therefore resorted to other methods, 
and for eleven years he reigned without a Parliament. 

At his Coronation, King Charles offered a knighthood 
to every man who had an income of forty pounds and 
upwards from the rents of land. His idea was to enrich 
himself by the fees, that had to be paid by every new 
knight. Those men who refused "the honour of 
knighthood" were fined, and if they did not pay their 
fine, were thrown into prison. Seventy of the gentry of 
Halifax Parish paid these fines, and by this means, the 



king drew £1,034 6s. 8d. from our parish. One of the 
Listers paid the fine, and the receipt for his fine is still 
preserved at Shibden Hall, signed "Strafford," the earl 
who was Charles's principal adviser, and who ended his 
days on the scaffold. Seven of the seventy men lived in 
the township of Halifax, among them being Thomas 
Blackwood, who built Blackwood House in 1617, 
somewhere near the site of Blackwood Grove, and 
the great benefactor, Nathaniel Waterhouse. James 
Murgatroyd of Warley, paid the largest fine of £40. 
Among the others, we may mention John Clay, of Clay 
House, the beautiful hall near Greetland Station ; 
Gregory Patchett, whose initials are on the doorway of 
the whitewashed house in Luddenden, known as the 
Lord Nelson Inn; John Drake of Horley Green; 
Abraham Brigg, who lived at Grindlestone Bank, and 
also built Holdsworth House ; and Anthony Bentley of 
Mixenden Green. 

Two years later, 1627, the King of France laid siege 
to the great Protestant seaport of Bocheile. The King's 
favourite, the Duke of Buckingham, prepared a stately 
fleet of a hundred sail to go to the relief of Eochelle. 
Parliament was called, but the members would discuss 
the conduct of Buckingham, and it was dissolved before 
a single sixpence was voted for the war. Money had to 
be found, so the king appealed for free gifts, and when 
little or nothing was given, he forced men to lend him 

An order was sent to the cloth-makers of Halifax 
and Leeds, calling upon them to contribute in union with 
the port of Hull " towards the charge of setting out 
three ships, of the burthen of two hundred tons apiece 
for His Majesty's service, to be at rendezvous at 


Portsmouth, the 20th day of May next, furnished as 
men-of-war, and victualled for full four months." These 
were to be three of the fleet intended for Rochelle. In 
reply to this order, the men of Halifax, with those of 
Leeds, sent a petition to the Privy Council giving 
several reasons for being excused. They protested first 
of all that they had paid taxes imposed by the Privy 
Council, without the assent of Parliament ; they had 
contributed to the forced loans ; paid five subsidies 
unlawfully taken without Parliament's consent ; and 
they had found and trained soldiers. They also 
reasoned that the ports provided ships and sailors, 
while the inland towns paid for soldiers ; that their 
cloth went to other ports besides Hull ; that other 
trades had an interest in Hull ; and that some other 
trades were more able to pay. One hundred and twenty - 
five Halifax men signed the Petition, and of this number 
thirty could not write their own names, but they made 
a X or some other mark. The first to sign was Robert 
Clay, Vicar of Halifax, and then came many well-known 
names like Waterhouse, Bairstow, Binns, Oldfield, 
Greenwood, Barraclough, etc. 

A few years later, John Hampden, a Buckinghamshire 
squire, made a name for himself in English history by 
refusing to pay the ship-money.* 

In addition to these disputes about taxation and the 
power of the king, the question of church government 
was also dividing the nation. Archbishop Laud and the 
bishops claimed absolute control of the religious life of 
the people and from James Murgatroyd's case, we see 
that they wielded a great power. On the other side, the 
Puritans developed the preaching part of the services 
and wished to abolish everything that reminded them ot 


the Koman Catholic Church. Dr. Favour and other 
Puritan vicars had made HaUfax almost unanimously of 
their thought, and the Halifax Exercises (conferences 
where famous preachers drew immense crowds to listen 
to their sermons) were kept up for many years. 

Some of the local Puritans, fearing persecution, 
followed the example of the Pilgrim Fathers, and 
emigrated to New England. Matthew Mitchell, "a 
pious and wealthy person" of Halifax, sailed in 1635, 
taking with him his son Jonathan, who became a 
celebrated preacher in America. Richard Denton, 
minister of Coley, also emigrated and became famous. 
These were among the pioneers who colonised the land 
now known as the United States. 

In 1637, King Charles and Archbishop Laud ordered 
that a new Prayer Book should be read in the Scottish 
Churches, but the Scotch people, who were mostly 
Presbyterians, would not have the new service, and 
revolted, so in 1639, Charles declared war on Scotland. 
This is known as the First Bishop's War, and men from 
our district were obliged to join the king's forces. We 
gather some details of this war from the Account Book 
of the Sowerby Constable. After training at Halifax, 
Elland, Wakefield, and other places, sixteen Sowerby 
men set ofi from Wakefield for active service in Scotland. 
A similar contingent would go from Halifax and the 
other townships. • Pikes and guns were repaired, gun- 
powder, bullets, knapsacks, and bandoliers provided, so 
that the little company cost Sowerby people sixty-five 
pounds. The expedition was a failure from the king's 
point of view, for the Scotch raised a much better army, 
and Charles made terms with them rather than fight. 
Southowram kept their beacon ready, in case the Scots 
invaded the north of England. 


A couple of years later there was trouble in another 
part of the realm. In November, 1641, news came that 
the Irish had massacred thirty thousand of the English 
and Scots colonists, and it was said that the Irish might 
cross to England. These reports, of course, spread alarm 
throughout this part of England. Joseph Lister of 
Bradford, then a lad of fifteen, says that on one Sunday 
he had gone to Pudsey to hear Mr. Wales preach. A 
man named Sugden came hastily to the chapel door, and 
called out " Friends, we are all as good as dead men, for 
the Irish rebels are gotten to Bochdale, and will be at 
Bradford and Halifax shortly." The people were all 
confused, women wept, children screamed and clung to 
their parents. Joseph Lister went home to Bradford, 
and found the people in the streets considering how best 
to defend their homes, for they had heard that the rebels 
had reached Halifax. At length they sent a few men 
on horseback to Halifax to ascertain the truth, and they 
found that the supposed rebels were a few poor folk who 
had fled from Ireland for safety. 

Englishmen were very angry at the news of the 
massacre, and felt that an army should be sent to take 
vengeance on the Irish. But they so mistrusted the 
King that they would not raise a force for him to 
command, fearing he would use it to overpower the 
Parliament. The King and Parliament were now 
definitely opposed, and on August 22nd, 1642, the 
King's Standard was set up at Nottingham, and the 
Civil War begun. 

Professor Gardiner says that the north-west of 
England, then the poorest, rudest, and least thickly 
populated part of the country took the King;'s side, 
whilst the south-east of England, with its fertile lands. 


its commercial and manufacturing activity and its 

wealth, was on the side of the Parliament, but no 
exact line can be drawn between the portions of 
England which supported the two causes. The clothing 
towns of the West Riding — Halifax, Bradford, and 
Leeds — and the eastern towns of Lancashire — Man- 
chester, Rochdale, and Bolton — took the side of the 
Parliament, for they depended upon trade, and their 
people were mostly Puritans. At first, the fighting 
was in what we may call "county matches." That is, 
the Royalists of Yorkshire attacked the Yorkshire 
Parliamentarians, wh'le the Roundheads of Lancashire 
were busy with the Cavaliers of the same county. Only 
in rare instances could men be persuaded to march from 
one county to fight in another. Lord Fairfax was the 
General of the Parliament's Yorkshire Army, and he 
was opposed by the Earl of Newcastle on behalf of 
the King. 

On Sunday morning, December 18th, 1642, while 
service was being held in Coley Chapel, a good man, one 
Isaac Baume, came in haste to the chapel and told the 
minister, Mr. Latham, what the position was in Bradford. 
The minister spoke to his congregation about it, and 
many in the chapel went for their weapons, and set oft 
to help Bradford. Among these volunteers was John 
Hodgson, who afterwards became a captain in Cromwell's 
army. Bradford was in a sore plight, for all the trained 
soldiers were with Lord Fairfax, and he had retreated to 
Selby because of a defeat he had suffered at Tadcaster 
eleven days previously. The Royalist Army had taken 
Wakefield and Leeds, and were hoping to capture both 
Bradford and Halifax. A Halifax captain (we do not 
know his name) took command of the defences of 


Bradford, and th^.rboi and arms he had brought helped 
considerably. Bradford Church was made into a fort, 
because it was the largest and strongest building in the 
town. Musketeers were placed in the tower to fire on 
the enemy, and sheets of wool were hung around the 
tower to protect it from cannon balls. Sir William 
Savile, with a thousand Royalists and some cannon, 
attacked the town on that Sunday morning, and they 
met with more resistance than they expected. At mid- 
day, Hodgson with more Halifax men arrived, and were 
welcomed by the defenders, who then decided on a 
counter attack, in which the Royalists were put to flight. 

Sir Thomas Fairfax, who was with his father, on 
hearing of the heroic exploit, passed through the 
enemy's lines, and came to Bradford to help them. He 
considered, however, that Bradford was a bad place to 
defend, for it lies in a hollow, with heights around it 
from which an enemy could command the town. Sir 
Thomas made Bradford his headquarters, fortified it as 
well as he could, and sent an appeal to the surrounding 
places for recruits, and he obtained many Halifax men. 
Samuel Priestley of Good-greave, Soyland, joined, 
though his parents tried to persuade him to stay at 
home. "If I stay at home," he replied, "I can follow 
no employment, but be forced to hide in one hole or 
another, which I cannot endure. I had rather venture 
my life in the field, and if I die, it is in a good cause." 

Every day there were skirmishes between Fairfax's 
men, and the Royalists who garrisoned Leeds and 
Wakefield. Sir Thomas was always a bold commander, 
and " being too many to lie idle, and too few to be upon 
constant duty, we resolved through the assistance of 
God, to attempt them in their garrisons." Therefore on 


January 23rd, 1643, he marched ."gainst Leeds, and 
after a desperate fight, re-captured the town. The 
war-cry of Fairfax's army was "Emmanuel." 

Major Forbes was the first man to enter, by cHmbing 
over the wall, by standing on the shoulders of Lieutenant 
Horsfall of Halifax. When they had entered the town, 
Mr. Jonathan Scholefield, minister of Cross-Stone Chapel, 
(near Todmorden) started the singing of a psalm: — 

" Let God arise, and scattered 
Let all His enemies be ; 
And let all those that do Him hate, 
Before His presence flee," 

According to the account of the fight, several Halifax 
men had marvellous escapes. Fairfax praised his soldiers. 
He called them unexperienced fresh- water men, yet 
although they had only received a week's training, they 
attacked most resolutely and valiantly. The Earl of 
Newcastle retreated to York, but before long he was 
vigorously pressing the Fairfaxes with a larger army. 

Lord Fairfax wrote to the Speaker of the House of 
Commons to inform him that the people of Leeds, 
Bradford, and HaHfax, were in want. They depended 
for corn and meat on the more fruitful parts of the 
country, and the enemy was stopping all supplies. The 
woollen trade was altogether suspended, consequently 
there w^ere many poor and no money to relieve them. 
The army could defend them from the enemy, but not 
from want. Fairfax also asked that Colonel Oliver 
Cromwell might be sent out of Lincolnshire with an 
army, to help to crush the Earl of Newcastle's forces. 
This, however, was found to be impracticable. 

Newcastle besieged and stormed Howley Hall, near 
Batley. Howley belonged to Sir John Savile, who was 
with the King at Oxford, but his cousin, another Sir 



John Savile, was holding the place for the Parliament. 
Lord Fairfax marched out of Bradford to meet the 
enemy Royalists, who, after leaving their quarters about 
Howley, chose Adwalton or Atherton Moor as the field 
of battle. Here on June 30th, 1643, was fought the 
decisive battle of this Yorkshire campaign, and Fairfax's 
army was routed. Adwalton Moor is very near the 
junction of the Halifax-Leeds Road with the Bradford- 
Wakefield Eoad. 

^ Av^ ►*. 



Fig. 62.— View of Halifax About the Middle of the 17th Century. 

It is of supreme interest to us to find that the official 
despatch, sent to William Lenthall, the Speaker of the 
House of Commons, describing the battle, was written at 
Halifax by Thomas Stockdale, whose home was at 
Bilton Park, near Harrogate. He appears to have acted 


as military secretary to Fairfax, as he wrote other 
despatches during the war. We will hear the story of 
the fight as far as possible in Stockdale's own words. 

" I wrote to you on Thursday last, since which time 
the state of our affairs is much altered, being changed 
from ill into worse. Yesterday morning we drew our 
forces together, consisting of : — 

1,200 commanded men of the garrison of Leeds, 

7 companies of Bradford, 

500 men of Halifax, and the country thereabouts, 

12 companies of Foot from Lancashire, 

10 troops of our own Horse, 

3 troops from Lancashire, 

[A company or a troop should have 100 men]. 

but the troops for the most part weak. We had four 
pieces of brass ordnance with us, and a great part of our 
powder and match. Many club-men [i.e., irregular 
companies of men armed with scythes, clubs, or any 
other weapons they could obtain] followed us, who are 
fit to do execution upon a flyiug enemy, but unfit for 
other service, for I am sure they did us none. With the 
strength being not full four thousand men, horse and 
foot, armed, we marched from Bradford against the 
enemy, who lay about three miles off us in a village 
called Adwalton or Atherton, and the places thereabouts. 

They, hearing of our preparations, had left their 
quarters about Howley, and chosen that place of ad- 
vantage, being both a great hill and an open moor or 
common, where our foot could not be able to stand their 
horse. Their army consisted of 8,000 of their old foot, 
and about 7,000 new men, and, as most men say, 4,000 
horse, but indeed there are many companies both of 
their horse and foot very slenderly armed. Upon 


Atherton Moor they planted their ordnance and ordered 
theh^ battle, but they manned divers houses standing in 
the enclosed grounds [fields] betwixt Bradford and 
Atherton Moor with musketeers, and sent out great 
parties of horse and foot by the lanes, and enclosed 
grounds to give us fight. Our forlorn hope [or advance 
party] was led by Captain Mildmay. He had other 
captains with him, including Captain Farrar [who was 
probably a Halifax man]. The van, wherein were placed 
the 1,200 men from Leeds, was led by Major-General 
Giiford. The main battle, wherein were the forces of 
Lancashire, and *500 from the parts about Halifax and 
the moors, had the Lord General himself ; and the rear, 
with the garrison forces of Bradford, were led by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Forbes. The horse were commanded 
by Sir Thomas Fairfax, who should have led the main 
battle, if the Lord General could have been persuaded 
to absent himself. 

Our forlorn hope beat back the enemies out of the 
lanes and enclosed grounds, killing many and taking 
some prisoners, and then the van coming up, fell upon 
the enemies on the left hand, and the main battle upon 
those on the right hand, and after some dispute, beat 
the enemy both out of the houses they had manned, and 
from the skirts of the moor to the height, killing very 
many, and among them two colonels. Our horse very 
bravely recovered part of the moor from the enemy and 
maintained it, and the rear fell on in the middle and did 
good service. 

Thus far we had a fair day, but the success of our 
men at the first, drew them unawares to engage them- 
selves too far upon the enemies, who, having the 
advantage of the ground, and infinitely exceeded us in 


numbers, at least five for one, they sent some regiments 
of horse and foot by a lane on the left hand, to 
encompass our army and fall on the rear, which forced 
us to retreat. Our men, being unacquainted with field 
service, would not be drawn off in any order, but instead 
of marching, fell into running. The commanders did 
their best to stay them, but in vain, for away they went 
in disorder, yet they brought off" two pieces of the 
ordnance, and lost the other two and many prisoners, 
but the estimate of the number I cannot give you. 

Sir Thomas Fairfax with five or six troops of horse, 
brought off the most part of the main 'battle, wherein 
the Lancashire men were, and made his retreat to 
Halifax very well, for the enemy was gotten so far 
before him towards Bradford as he could not reach that 
place. With much importunity, I persuaded the Lord 
General to retire, who stayed so long upon the field 
until the enemies were got betwixt him and Bradford, 
yet he took by-w^ays and recovered the town. 

Our loss was not great in commanders, for I do not 
yet hear of any save Major Talbot killed, and Lieut. Col. 
Forbes taken prisoner. Our loss of prisoners taken by 
the enemy was great." 

Sir Thomas Fairfax and his broken army retreated 
through Gomersal, Bailiff Bridge, and Hipperholme, to 
Halifax. Li a long, straggling line, they climbed up the 
old pack-horse road to the shoulder of Beacon Hill, and 
the tired, worn-out soldiers would be pleased to see 
Halifax lying below. Down Wiscombe Bank and Old 
Bank they hurried, to the town which promised rest and 
refreshment. The little town would be very busy that 
night, with so many soldiers to feed and to billet. The 
people were dispirited by the bad news, and to add to 



their fear and distraction, the Lancashire forces went 
straight home across Blackstone Edge. Some twenty 
horse, and two hundred foot were persuaded to stay in 

Fig. 63.— Relics of the Civil War in Bankfielu Museum. 

Mr. Stockdale, in reporting to Parliament, the black 
outlook for this corner of the West Kiding, wrote '• The 
country is wasted and exhausted, and tired out with the 
weight of the troubles continually falling upon this part 
of Yorkshire ; the soldiers want pay, and which is worse, 
arms and powder, and other ammunition." Sir Thomas 
Fairfax did not stay long in Halifax, but hastened to 
Bradford with some of the horse and foot that had fought 
at Adwalton. With the chivalrous devotion which 
endeared him to all that knew him, he went to share his 
father's fate. 

Mr. Stockdale concludes his despatch : — 

" If speedy supply be not sent with some considerable 
succour of men, the Lord General will be constrained to 
accept of some dishonourable conditions from the enemy. 
1 am now at Halifax, to which place I came last night, 
and take opportunity to send this bearer with Sir 
Thomas Fairfax's warrant, to get you speedy notice, lest 
we be so shut up in Bradford and Leeds as we cannot 


send. Hasten some relief to preserve the most constant 
part of the kingdom." 

Finally comes the postscript: — 

" As I was closing this letter, I received a letter, and 
after that a messenger from the Lord General to tell me 
that the enemy have made eight great shot at the town 
this day, and have even now recovered certain houses 
without the works, which if he cannot get fired, will 
much endanger the loss of the town. Sir Thomas is 
gone with some succours from hence, and what can be 
had more, I will get up, but the people stir with fear 
seeing no succours appear." 

On the Sunday night, (July 'ziid) the Bradford 
garrison was in such a desperate plight, that Fairfax 
gave orders to the soldiers to escape from the town as 
best they could, with the idea of reaching Hull. Lord 
Fairfax and his son Sir Thomas, with a remnant of the 
army, reached Hull after many adventures, and Hull 
was the only corner of Yorkshire that was held for the 
Parliament. Dykes were opened, and the surrounding 
country flooded to aid the defence ; and the Fairfax's 
in Hull, were in much the same position as Antwerp was 
in September, 19 L4. 

John Hodgson, who had been shot in two places, and 
cut in several in the Tadcaster fight, was taken prisoner 
as he was escaping from Bradford, stript to his shirt, 
and sent to Leeds. John Brearclifie, a young Halifax 
apothecary, wrote in his diary "3rd July, 1643, being 
Monday, 1 clok morn, bradford taken, and I into 

The local lads — and girls — must have had some 
stirring adventures during that first week of July. 

JOSEPH lister's adventures. 151 

Joseph Lister was sixteen years old at the time, and 
apprenticed to a Mr. Sharpe, who had fought in the 
defence of Bradford, and then escaped to Colne in 
Lancashire. Joseph stayed in Bradford, and saw the 
Royalist soldiers carrying away everything that was 
worth selling. In their search for treasure, these soldiers 
emptied all the beddings and meal bags, and the streets 
of Bradford were full of chaff, feathers, and meal. As 
Lister knew all the by-ways, he offered to guide one of 
the Parliamentary soldiers safely out of the town. After 
leaving Bradford, they fell in with two more of Fairfax's 
men. Presently one of the enemy's horse soldiers 
discovered them, and the four ran across a field. Joseph 
Lister crept into a thick holly bush, and by pulling down 
the boughs, hid himself. The other three were taken 
prisoners, one being wounded. Lister heard the horse- 
man asking where was the fourth, but he could not be 
found. "I have often thought since," he wrote, "how 
easily we might have knocked him down if we had had 
but any courage; but, alas! we had none." Joseph 
remained in the hedge until dark, and then set off" to 
Colne, where he found his master. Mr. Sharpe asked 
him if he durst venture back to Bradford, to see how 
Mrs. Sharpe was faring. Back he went, and found a 
cellar in the town, where he slept, and in the morning, 
on enquiring for the dame, he found she had gone to 
Halifax. After her, to Halifax, went Lister with his 
master's message and some money. Mrs. Sharpe sent him 
back to Colne for further instructions. His master said "Go 
thou and tell thy dame to go home, and go thou with 
her. Go to the camp and buy a cow, and get the land 
mowed. Get help to get the hay, and perhaps the 
enemy will be called away shortly." They bought a 


COW and drove it home, and the same day the soldiers 
came and took it. They bought another, and that also 
was taken. So Lister set off to Colne for further advice, 
which Mr. Sharpe gave by saying they must do as they 
thought best, for he had made up his mind to go to 
Manchester, and re-join the army. In the week 
following the Battle of Adwalton, the Royalists entered 
Halifax, and Sir Francis Mackworth made the town his 

When the foundations were being dug for St. Joseph's 
School, a few cannon balls, horseshoes, and a sword were 
unearthed, and these relics are now in Bankfield Museum. 
The place is known as Bloody Field, and evidently a 
skirmish was fought here during the Civil War, but we 
have no written record of any fight. Mack worth's entry 
to the town may have been disputed at this point, or 
the rearguard of Sir Thomas Fairfax's force may have 
been attacked after Adwalton Battle. 

Most of the Halifax people fled over the Lancashire 
border before the Cavalier soldiers came to the town. 
They buried their valuables, or hid them, and some of 
the old deeds at Shibden Hall show signs of mildew 
because they were buried at this time. The soldiers 
searched the Workhouse Offices, but found nothing but 
a bottle on the window-bottom. Mr. Priestley's house 
in Soyland was pillaged several times, and Ewood, 
near Mytholmroyd, was plundered, and Mr. Farrar's 
deeds and papers taken. On August 14th, Sir Francis 
Mackworth issued a special order forbidding pillage upon 
pain of death. 

The Halifax Befugees went to various places in 
Lancashire. John Brearcliffe went to Bury, where he 
met Dorothy Meadowcroft, and afterwards married her. 


John Hodgson was released by the RoyaHsts, and made 
his way to Rochdale, where he had fever. The Rev. 
Henry Roote, minister at Halifax Church, went to 
Manchester. Mr. Alte, who had been at Hahfax Church, 
was at the time minister of Bury, and he took some of 
the refugees into his parsonage, while others were lodged 
among the people of Bury. John Wilkinson, of Bracken- 
bed, died at Rochdale during the exile. Mrs. Lister of 
Shibden, was buried at Manchester, and in Bury Church 
registers is recorded the burial of Robert Broadley, " a 
very godly man, exiled from Halifax, sojourning at 
Hey wood." Future historians will find in our registers, 
the names of poor Belgians, who have died in our district 
as refugees. The eastern towns of Lancashire were 
crowded with refugees from the West Riding, for the 
Parliament's force in Lancashire had beaten the Lan- 
cashire Royalists, and Manchester was the head- quarters 
of the victorious army. In Yorkshire, as we have seen, 
the victory was for the other side, and the Royalists had 
won the Yorkshire " county match " in a most decisive 

The position now was that Sir Francis Mackworth 
held Halifax ; Lieutenant Colonel Wentworth with his 
regiment of cavalry, was stationed at King Cross and 
Sowerby Bridge, to watch the road from Lancashire; 
and other outposts were planted at Roils Head, and 
Sentry Edge in Warley, to guard the road leading to 
Burnley and Colne. Mackworth knew that danger only 
threatened from the west, and he appears to have been 
reluctant to attempt an invasion of Lancashire. The 
Roundheads at Manchester were on the alert, and 
Rosworm, a clever engineer, constructed earthworks at 
Blackstone Edge, and a force was sent to occupy the 


pass. The borderland of hill and moor was a sufficient 
obstacle to keep either side from attempting an attack 
on the other, and the western portion of our parish was 
a " no-man's land " between the two armies. Joseph 
Priestley of Goodgreave, had fled into Lancashire with 
his brothers, but having made up his mind to go to 
London, he thought he would pay a visit to his wife. 
He was leading his horse down the steep side from 
Blackstone Edge in a thick mist, when he walked into 
a Royalist troop, and was taken prisoner. He was 
imprisoned with some others in the corner house in 
Southgate, where he caught a fever, due to the dirty state 
of the streets, and died. 

There was also the other reason why these opposing 
armies never came to battle —because it was so difficult 
to persuade men to fight outside their own county. 
However, there were plenty of West Kiding men in 
Lancashire who were tired of being inactive, and they 
decided to organize a small force to attack the Royalists. 
On October 1 4th, Colonel Bradshaw agreed to command 
them. Notices were sent to sixteen churches asking all 
Yorkshiremen to meet at Rochdale on October 1 7tli, 
1643. It may seem to us a strange announcement to be 
given from a pulpit. But this was to a large extent a 
religious war, and those sixteen ministers would be on 
the Puritan side, and besides, the church was the great 
public meeting-place in those days, and many public 
announcements were made in church. The Yorkshiremen 
chose Heptonstall as their base of operations, and thus 
commenced a small local campaign around Halifax. 
Heptonstall was an ideal place for a military camp. On 
three sides are high steep slopes, with the Hebden, 
Calder, and Golden streams at their feet. Behind the 


town, moorland roads lead over the hills into Lancashire. 
It is a remarkably strong position, with a fine route for 
retreat if the worst came to pass. The Yorkshiremen 
had the advantage of knowing every inch of the difficult 
country between Heptonstall and Halifax. They knew 
all the paths across Cragg Vale to Sowerby, and all the 
short cuts across Midgley Moor and Luddenden Dean, 
while Mackworth's men were strangers to these parts. 

On the 19th and 20th of October, 1643, the West 
Riding men came to Heptonstall. There were 270 or 
280 musketeers ; between 50 and 60 horse soldiers ; and 
400 or 500 club-men. On the next day, Saturday the 
21st, they marched from Heptonstall over Hathershelf 
to occupy Sowerby Town, and every day there were 
skirmishes between them and the E/oyalisfc garrison of 

The sketch will help us to follow this Halifax 
campaign, but better still by taking a short walk into 
Warley, we may be able to see practically the whole of 
the ground. It is important to remember that there 
was no road along the Calder Valley. The main road 
from Halifax to Heptonstall, was via Highroad Well and 
Newlands to Luddenden. Then it climbed straight up 
the opposite hill-side, through Midgley Town to Mount 
Skip, then past Wadsworth Lanes it dropped to the 
Hebden at Hebden Bridge. From the bridge, the 
road went up the steep Buttress to Heptonstall. 
Beyond Heptonstall, the route was along the Long 
Causeway (the ancient crosses on the Causeway denote 
how very old this road is); or the traveller could take the 
Widdop track into Lancashire. It is the old pack horse 
road from Halifax to Lancashire, and as historically 
interesting as the Magna Via to Wakefield. From the 


hill-side about Westfield in Warley, we obtain a splendid 
view of this section of the Calder Valley with Heptonstall 
in the distance, perched on a spur of the flanking hills, 
and in imagination we may see the Heptonstall forces 
sallying out to annoy Mackworth's rften. 

On Monday, October 23rd, Colonel Bradshaw, Captain 
Taylor, and two Lancashire companies marched along 
this Height Road, until they came to the Hollins in 
Warley (James Murgatroyd's old home). The Cavaliers 
were inside the house, but their resistance was soon 
overcome. The defenders threw the stone slates off the 
roof on to the attackers. The oak door could not be 
battered in, and the mullioned windows were too narrow 
for a man to get his shoulders through. At length one 
of the stone mullions was hacked away, and the house 
was entered. Forty -three soldiers, and two officers were 
taken back to Heptonstall as prisoners. Only one of the 
attackers was hurt — by a slate — and he soon recovered. 

The guards who were on duty on the next Sunday 
night, reported " sore streaming in the night, being all 
the night as light as moonlight. " There was probably 
a fine display of shooting stars, and in those days people 
thought that the stars foretold important events. Sir 
Francis Mackworth made up his mind to clear this 
enemy out of his territory, and gave orders for Hepton- 
stall to be taken on November 1st. Between three and 
four o'clock on that dark morning, an army marched out 
of Halifax composed of about four hundred musketeers, 
and four hundred cavalry. They had chosen a bad day, 
and " there was great wind and rain in their faces. " 
They attempted to scale the heights at Heptonstall, but the 
defenders drove them back, and rolled great rocks down 
the hillside on to the Boyalists. Some of Mackworth's 



men fell down a scar and were killed, and others were 
drowned in the flooded Hebden. A hundred foot, and 
fifty horse pursued the retreating Royalists to Luddenden. 
Forty prisoners including three commanders were taken, 
and sent to Rochdale. 

One of the Priestley's of Goodgreave, Soy land, who 
was with the Heptonstall force, saw a wounded Royalist 
in danger of drowning, and jumped into the stream and 
rescued him. The same night, Priestley went on guard 
in his wet clothes, caught a chill and died in three weeks. 
The Parliamentary commander. Colonel Bradshaw, died 
on December 8th, and Major Eden took over the 
command. Many of .the men who spent that Christmas 
around the camp fire at Heptonstall, had been in 
Bradford the previous Christmas, defending that town 
against Sir William Savile. 

On January 4th, 1644, Major Eden marched his little 
army through Sowerby, leaving Captain Helliwell's 
company to guard his camp. At Sowerby Bridge he 
encountered the Royalists, killed three, and captured 
Captain Clapham and forty men. Captain Farrar and 
his cavalry, chasing the retreating Royalists towards 
Halifax, ventured too far, and could not regain their 
main force at Sowerby Bridge. Mackworth's outposts 
at King Cross and Sentry Edge, blocked the direct route 
back to Heptonstall, so Farrar appears to have led his 
men across Halifax Moor and Ovenden Wood, with the 
intention of crossing the head of Luddenden Dean and 
the moors, to Heptonstall. They were checked in 
Mixenden, and obliged to fight on the slope between 
Hunter Hill and Mixenden Brook. Portions of gun 
barrels, locks, and flints have been found on Hunter Hill. 
The traditional name of the place is Bloody Field, and a 


part of Binns Hole Clough is called Slaughter Gap. 
Captain Farrar and nine of his men were obliged to 
surrender, and one of his men was slain. Three of the 
prisoners were hanged forthwith, near the Gibbet, for 
deserting from Sir Francis Mackworth's force. The 
remainder of the troop reached Heptonstall, bringing a 
Mr. Thompson with them, having made him a prisoner 
at Moor end. Sir Francis Mackworth sent to Keighley 
for fifteen hundred more men, and on January 9th, the 
Keighley and Halifax soldiers set out once again to 
attack Heptonstall. Major Eden had news of their 
approach, and he left the town, taking all his prisoners 
and munitions of war. He retreated along the Long 
Causeway, through Stiperden to Burnley, and on the 
next day his forces reached Colne. The Boyalists 
entered an empty town, and gained a barren victory. 
They pillaged Heptonstall, and set fire to fourteen 
houses and barns. On January 14th, Major Eden's men 
joined Sir Thomas Fairfax's Army at Manchester. They 
saw some fighting in Cheshire, and afterwards re-joined 
Lord Fairfax in East Yorkshire. Sir Francis Mackworth 
had driven his enemies out of this district, but he only 
enjoyed three weeks undisputed sway, for on January 
28th, 1644, the King's Army left Halifax, after 
possessing it for six months. 

The evacuation of Halifax was due to the fact that 
a Scottish Army crossed the border on January 19th, 
pledged to fight for the Parliament. On July 2nd, the 
great battle of Marston Moor was fought, where 
Cromwell and his fellow generals won a decisive victory, 
and the north of England was gained for the Parliament. 
Cromwell's military genius evolved the New Model 
Army — an army that was eflScient and ready to fight 


anywhere against the King. Thus a stop was put to 
the wasteful and unsatisfactory county fighting. The 
Battle of Naseby w^as won by this army on June 14th, 
1645, and the King was utterly defeated. 

In 1645, the Scottish Army was quartered in the 
West Riding, and a large number of the soldiers were 
billeted in Halifax. Their leaders were anxious to 
return home, for in their absence Montrose had raised a' 
Highland Army for the King's side. The coming of the 
Scots to our town, was probably one of the causes of the 
Plague which afflicted Halifax. The town was over- 
crowded, and the badly-drained, narrow streets became 
filthy. In August, 1645, there were 84 deaths; in 
September, 153; October, 216; and in November, 76. 
These figures are terrible for the small population. 
Tradition says that everyone living in the Mulcture 
Hall was carried off by the disease. Another story, 
states that the soldiers and other travellers, in order to 
avoid the town, went round by "Trooper" Lane, instead of 
down by the Church, and up the Old Bank. In order 
to escape the infection, the Sowerby Constables had a 
chain across the road near Sowerby Bridge, and kept 
watch that no suspected person entered their town. 
There had been plagues in the district before this out- 
break. In 1631, fifty-five Ovenden people died, and 
were buried near their own houses. Thirty-one of the 
fifty-five died in the month of August, and the centre of 
the pestilence appears to have been at Cock Hill, near 
Bradshaw. In the same year Heptonstall was visited, 
and 107 carried off by the Plague. 

The Scottish leaders and the English Parliament 
disagreed on religious questions. The former allies 
became enemies, and the Scots made a secret agreement 


with King Charles, promising to raise an army to 
support the King. This army, under the command of 
the Marquis of Hamilton, crossed the border into 
England in April, 1648. Cromwell hurried northward 
to meet the Scots, but he was not quite certain as to the 
route Hamilton intended to take, for the Scots had the 
choice of the Lancashire side of the Pennines, or the 
York Plain. Cromwell marched through Doncaster and 
Kparesborough, to Skipton, and then, discovering that 
his opponents had decided on the western route, 
Cromwell hurried through the great Aire Gap, and the 
forces met at Preston. Our district had to provide food 
for Cromwell's men, and we know that Sowerby provided 
on one occasion " 20 hundredth of bread," costing over 
£20, 2 cows, beans, and other provisions. Six pack 
horses laden with supplies were sent to Addingham on 
August 13th, and on the 18th, ten horse loads were sent 
to Skipton, but as Cromwell had left that town, the 
pack-horses had to follow the army further up Airedale. 
John Hodgson, the Halifax man who had left Coley 
Chapel to fight at Bradford, stayed in the army for the 
duration of the wars, and he wrote an interesting- 
account of his adventures. Hodgson was with Major 
General Harrison's army at Penrith when the Scots 
crossed the border, and they were obliged to retreat 
until they met Cromwell at Eipon. Major Poundall and 
Hodgson were in command of the advance guard of 
Cromwell's army, and the General ordered them to 
attack before half of their men had come up. The 
enemy's bullets went high over their heads, so Hodgson's 
men charged, and appear to have fought bravely. 
Hodgson was in the thick of the fighting, and came out 
unscathed. The result of the Preston Battle was an 
overwhelming victory for Cromwell. Hodgson's greatest 


day was at the Battle of Dunbar. Cromwell invaded 
Scotland in 1650, and at the beginning of September, 
found himself in a perilous position at Dunbar, hemmed 
in by the Scottish Army, which was astride the south 
road to England. Oliver Cromwell actually sent a letter 
to the Governor of Newcastle, telling him what to do if 
the English Army was cut up. But the Scots were 
impatient, and instead of waiting, they came down from 
their hill-top to attack Cromwell. The General seized 
his chance, and ordered his men to advance. Very early 
in the morning, Hodgson's company, along with others, 
met the enemy, and with "push of pike, and butt-end of 
the musket " drove them back. Cromwell himgelf rode 
in the rear of Hodgson's regiment and gave them orders, 
and presently the whole of the armies were in battle, and 
the Scots were driven off in confusion. "And over St. 
Abb's Head and the German Ocean, just then, burst the 
first gleam of the level sun upon us," and John Hodgson 
tells " I heard Nol say, ' Now let God arise, and His 
enemies be scattered,' and, following us as we slowly 
marched, I heard him say ' I profess they run! ' " The 
Scots were defeated, and the General made a halt, and 
sang the Hundred-and-seventeenth Psalm until the 
horse could reform for the pursuit. ^ -SiS' w^1 

Dunbar was probably Cromwell's greatest victory, 
and Carlyle has written a fine description of the battle, 
based on Hodgson's account. After Dunbar, John 
Hodgson was made a Captain in Cromwell's own 
regiment. Captain Hodgson was a soldier for eighteen 
years, and served part of the time at sea under the 
famous Admiral Blake, against the Dutch. 

We have followed the Civil Wars from the Par- 
liamentary side, because the local accounts of the 


fighting were written by men of that side, and because 
the large majority of Halifax men were so-minded. It 
is only fair to mention some of the Royalists. Langdale 
Sunderland, of High Sunderland, was brother-in-law to 
Sir Marmaduke Langdale, one of the King's Generals, 
and so he commanded a troop of horse in Sir Marmaduke's 
army. Langdale Sunderland had to pay a heavy fine for 
taking up arms against the Parliament, and he was 
obliged to sell the family estates at High Sunderland 
and Coley Hall. In that way the Sunderlands lost High 
Sunderland, after living there for four hundred years. 
Nathan Drake of Godley, was one of the garrison 
that held Pontefract Castle so long for the King, and he 
wrote a diary of the siege. Richard Gledhill, of Bark- 
island Hall, was killed at Marston Moor on the Royalist 
side. He had been knighted by the Earl of Newcastle. 
Matthew Broadley, of Lane Ends, Hipperholme, was 
Purveyor and Paymaster-General to the King's Forces. 
He was a very rich man, and lent money to King Charles. 

*' Local Incidents in the Civil War," by H. P. Kendall. 

(Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1909, 1910, 1911). 
"Three Civil War Notes": — 

1. Official Despatch on Adwalton Battle. 

2. Halifax Refugees in Lancashire. 
8. Mixenden's Bloody Field. 

By T. W. Hanson. (Hx. Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1916). 

•• Refusal of Knighthood by Halifax Landowners in 1630-32." 

(Halifax Guardian Almanack, 1903). 
** Autobiography of Captain John Hodgson." 

Reprinted, with notes by J. Horsfall Turner. 







"We came to Halifax 9 Febr. 1644, being Thursday," 
says John BrearcKffe, and as he took pains to record the 
local events of this period, it is fitting that we should 
have a few particulars of the man himself. John Brear- 
clifie was the son of Edmund Brearcliffe, who was Parish 
Clerk for Dr. John Favour. The Vicar was godfather to 
the little boy when John was baptised on August 29th, 
1618. Dr. Favour died live years later, and left £5 for 
his godson. Brearcliffe is thus a connecting link between 
the Puritans of Dr. Favour's age, and the later Puritans 
who fought against King Charles. Brearcliffe was one 
of the Heptonstall garrison, and we owe our knowledge 
of the local skirmishes almost entirely to the account 
that he wrote of the fighting. 

In 1651, a Commission was appointed to enquire into 
all the local charitable bequests. Brearcliffe was one of 
the jurymen, and he wrote out a full account of the 
findings of the Pious Uses Commission. Witnesses were 
called to prove how much money had been left to Heath 
Grammar School, and how it had been spent, and the 
Governors of the Workhouse had to render an account 
of their trust. Executors of wills, where money had 
been left for the poor, or the church, or repairing of 
highways and bridges, or for other pious uses, brought 
their papers to show that their affairs were quite in 
order. There is no doubt that by this enquiry, Halifax 
people saved many a valuable legacy that might have 
lapsed or been forgotten. 


On July 12th, 1654, Halifax elected its first Member 
of Parliament. Manchester, Leeds, and Halifax were 
the only new towns that received this privilege, and it 
shows that Halifax was becoming a place of some 
importance. Our first member represented the whole 
parish, or the area that is now covered by the Sowerby, 
EUand, and Halifax Parliamentary Divisions. In the 
Brearcliffe Manuscript is a full list of the 59 men who 
voted for Jeremy Bentley of Elland, first M.P. for 
Halifax. Among the voters were Mr. William Farrar, 
of Ewood ; Mr. Joshua Horton, of Sowerby ; Eobert 
Ramsden, Stoneyroyd ; John Lister, of Upper Brear ; 
Samuel Bentley, Well Head; Arthur Hanson, Brighouse; 
Joseph Fourness, Boothtown ; and John Brearcliffe. 
Jeremy Bentley and his Hahfax friends tried to get 
another privilege, and a meeting of all the townships 
was called for August 14th, 1654, to secure a Corporation 
for Halifax. They were not successful in their attempt 
to make the parish into a borough. We do not know 
why the grant of incorporation was refused, but we may 
surmise that the vast area was considered too large for 
one borough. 

Cromwell and his soldiers are blamed for damaging 
a great many churches. An earlier Cromwell was the 
responsible minister, under Henry YHL, for the 
destruction of the monasteries, and the spoliation of 
the churches ; and people have charged Oliver with 
deeds that Thomas Cromwell really committed. But 
whatever happened at other places, Halifax Parish 
Church was well cared for during the Commonwealth 
period. We have to thank John Brearcliffe for the 
attention paid to the fabric of the church, for he was a 
man of influence in public affairs, and an antiquary full 


of reverence for the historic building. Brearclifie 
compiled a list of the priests and parsons who had been 
vicars, and he collected th^ir coats of arms. He painted 
these arms in their correct colours on panels, which were 
placed in the church vestry. These panels, dimmed 
with age, are still there, and later vicars have added 
their arms to the cpllection. After Brearclifie died, the 
large panels of the roof of the church were decorated 
with the arms of the vicars and local families, and 
Halifax Church is the only one that is so decorated. 

Brearclifie bound the early Eegisters, and so helped 
to preserve them. He made a catalogue of the Church 
Library, and hunted up some books that had been 
borrowed years before. He had the rusty book-chains 
oiled, new chains fitted to the volumes, also giving a 
sixpence to two men to take all the books out to air 
them. While Brearclifie was Overseer, he mended the 
screens, and attended to other minor repairs. The 
Royal Arms were taken down, and the State's Arms 
put up in their place. The Scotch soldiers, while they 
were encamped about Halifax, removed the old font 
from the church, because they considered it a relic of 
superstition. The beautiful font cover was left swinging 
in the church for five years, and then in 1650 it was 
taken to a Mr. Hartley's parlour, and remained there for 
ten years. 

During the Commonwealth period, several beautiful 
windows were inserted on the north and south sides of 
the choir, and at the west end, some of which were the 
gift of Mistress Dorothy Water house, the widow of the 
great benefactor. These windows are plain glass — not 
stained — and the leads are arranged in a beautiful 
pattern. Their design is excellent, and they are quite 



unique, for no other church has such Commonwealth 

Fjg. 64.— Commonwealth Window in Halifax Church. 

The Civil War was a religious war, and when [the 
Puritans came into power, they made many sweeping 
alterations in the English Church. Dr. Marsh had been 
vicar of Halifax, also holding several other good livings 
in the Church. He w^as one of the King's chaplains, 
and attended Charles I. during his imprisonment. Dr. 
Marsh was also himself imprisoned, being caught on his 
w^ay to join the forces under the Earl of Derby. The 
funds belonging to Halifax Church, were voted to Lord 
Fairfax to pay his soldiers. The chapels of Illingworth, 
Luddenden, Sowerby, etc., were provided by the people 
living near those chapels. Halifax men agreed to pay 
the stipends of the ministers needed for Halifax Church 


in the same way. So that for some years Halifax Parish 
was disendowed, and ours appears to be the only Parish 
Church that was treated in that manner. 

Under the Commonwealth, there was a variety of 
ministers in the chapels of Halifax Parish. John Lake, 
one of the preachers at Halifax Church, was born in 
Petticoat Lane, now called E-ussell Street. He afterwards 
became Dean of York, and Bishop of Chichester, and is 
famous in English history for being one of the Seven 
Bishops, who were imprisoned in the Tower by King- 
James IL Oliver Heywood of Coley, Isaac Allen of 
Bipponden, and Henry Boote of Sowerby ministered at 
this time, when religious freedom and liberty of conscience 
were questions that deeply stirred the country. 

The Puritans were very strict about the morals of the 
people, and they so hated crime that they revived the 
Gibbet Law. The remarkable thing about the Halifax 
Gibbet, is that men should be beheaded for stealing 
goods of so paltry a value as thirteenpence half -penny, 
and the custom retained so long after it had fallen into 
disuse in other places. Most people considered it to be 
a barbarous practice, and wondered that it should 
survive at Halifax. In 1645, the stone platform was 
built, which stands behind the Waterworks Office in 
Gibbet Street. In five years, 1645-\.6CjO, five men were 
"headed" by the gibbet axe, and after that the local law 
was abolished. John Brearcliffe, who was Constable of 
Halifax in 1650, wrote an account of the last trial, and 
he defended what he called the " Prudent, Christian, and 
Neighbourly Proceedings." 

About the latter end of April, 1650, Abraham 
Wilkinson, John Wilkinson, and Anthony Mitchell, all 
of Sowerby, were arrested near Halifax, and taken into 



the custody of the Baihff of Hahfax. The BaiUff sent 
word to the Constables of HaUfax, Sowerby, Warley, 
and Skircoat, charging them to appear at his house on 

Fig. 65.— Shaw Booth. 

Photo. H. P. Ketidall. 



April 27th, each bringing four good men to form the 
jury. The sixteen jurymen assembled at the BailifiTs 
House, where the prisoners, the stolen goods, and the 
men from whom the things had been stolen, were all 
brought before the jury. Samuel Colbeck, of Shaw 
Booth in Luddenden Dean, said that the three prisoners 
had stolen sixteen yards of russet coloured kersey from 
his tenters on April 19th, and part of the cloth was 
there in the room. John Cusforth of Sandal Parish, 
near Wakefield, said that Abraham Wilkinson and 
Anthony Mitchell, in the night of April 17th, had stolen 
a black colt and a grey colt off Durker Green, and the 
two colts were produced for the jury to see and value. 
John Fielden said that Abraham Wilkinson had taken a 
whole kersey piece from the tenters at Brearley Hall 
about Christmas last, and when he found part of the 
piece in Wakefield, Isaac Gibson's wife said that 
Wilkinson had delivered the piece to her. Abraham 
Wilkinson disputed this last evidence, and the jury 
adjourned the trial for three days. On April 30th the 
jury brought in their verdict. They gave Abraham 
Wilkinson the benefit of the doubt in the Brearley 
Hall case. They valued the russet-coloured kersey at 
nine shillings, and the two colts at forty-eight shillings, 
and three pounds. Abraham Wilkinson and Anthony 
Mitchell confessed to the thefts, and both charged John 
Wilkinson with assisting them. The verdict ends: — 

'• By the ancient Custom and Liberty of Halifax, whereof the Memory 
of Man is not to the contrary, the said John Wilkinson and Anthony 
Mitchell are to suffer Death, by having their heads sever'd and cut 
off from their Bodies at Halifax Gibbet ; unto which Verdict we 
subscribe our Names, the 30th Day of April, 1650." 

Then follow the sixteen names. The two Sower by 
men were executed the same day. Another writer says 



that it is certain that the minister attended the culprits 
on the scaffold, and prayed with them, while the 4th 
Psalm was played around the platform, on the bagpipes. 
The last verse of this psalm is "I will lay me down in 
peace, and sleep ; for Thou, Lord, only makest me 
dwell in safety." 

SVmteilfawA^Ugy g®gfie/cy U SGalifax. 

Pig. 66.— Halifax Gibbet, from Camden's "Britannia" (1695). 


This was the last trial, and the Gibbet Book says 
" that the Gibbet and the Customary Law got its 
suspension because some Persons in that Age judged it 
to be too severe." The Chief Person of the Common- 
wealth, Oliver Cromwell, used these words when he 
opened the second Protectorate Parliament. "But the 
truth of it is, there are wicked, abominable laws that 
will be in 3^our power to alter. To hang a man for 
sixpence, thirteenpence, I know not what ; to hang for 
a trifle and pardon a murder, is in the ministratioD of 
the law, through the ill framing of it. I have known in 
my experience, abominable murders quitted ; and to 
come and see men lose their lives for petty matters! 
This is a thing that God will reckon for, and I wish it 
may not lie upon this nation a day longer than you have 
an opportunity to give a remedy ; and I hope I shall 
cheerfully join with you in it. This hath been a great 
grief to many honest hearts, and conscientious people, 
and I hope it is in all your hearts to rectify it." 

We are sorry that the men of Halifax did not share 
the more clement ideas of Cromwell, for their retention 
of the cruel local custom gave Halifax a bad name. 

The Stuart family was restored to the throne of 
England on May 29th, 1660, when King Charles II. 
entered London. Soon afterwards. Parliament passed 
the Act of Uniformity, whereby all clergymen and 
ministers who refused to accept the usages of the 
Church of England were expelled from their livings. 
Oliver Hey wood of Coley ; Henry Boote of Sowerby ; 
Timothy Boote. his son, of Sowerby Bridge ; and Eli 
Bent ley of Halifax were amongst those who were 
ejected. Heywood was fined for not attending church, 
and also told that he would be put out if he tried to 


attend. In 1665, the Five Mile Act was passed, which 
forbade the ejected ministers to live within ^Ye miles of 
their old church. For a little while. Hey wood went 
back into Lancashire to live, but he continued to preach, 
despite the fact that constables and soldiers broke up 
his meetings, and notwithstanding the fines, imprison- 
ment, and other persecutions he had to sufier. Oliver 
Hey wood kept a diary, and his note-books are of 
exceptional interest to us, because he jotted down all 
manner of details about the people and occurrences of 
his time. Thus he has given us a full portrait of himself 
and his surroundings. We have only space to quote a 
few specimens from his rich store. 

Oliver Hey wood was a very big man. He was 
weighed at Mr. John Priestley's in York, August 20th, 
1681, and drew seventeen and a half stones. It needed 
a good horse to carry him over the hilly roads of our 
district, and he tells many times of his bay horse, his 
black horse, his white mare, and the miraculous escapes 
he had from heavy falls on frosty roads and diflScult 
fords. In some years, he rode 1,400 miles on his 
preaching tours. Mr. Hey wood had many offers from 
larger churches, but he stayed with his Coley people, 
though his stipend did not exceed £20 a year, and often 
he had no idea where to obtain his next meal. Yet he 
tells us that every Lord's day he had six to ten to 
dinner, besides many others who had bread and broth, 
and on sacrament days his maid would serve fifty people. 

From the diaries we learn that the richer people like 
Justice Farrar of Ewood, took their families to York for 
the winter, so that they might enjoy the social life of 
the county town, instead of being confined to their 
lonely halls during the inhospitable weather. At the 


winter fair in Halifax, a hundred beasts were killed in 
one day, besides a great number in the townships 
around. The meat was salted and hung up, for the 
scattered houses had to provide as if for a siege, for 
they might be snowed up for weeks. Hahfax Market 
was such an important one that bread was brought from 
places as far off as Gomersal, whence Bridget Brook came 
regularly with her bread for over forty years. We are 
told of the dancing and games on May Day and Mid- 
summer Day, and of the cock-fights that took place at 
the Cross Inn. The merriment often ended in fighting. 
The diaries are also full of the doings of his neighbours, 
some good and some bad. John Gillet was church- 
warden in 1665, when the great south door of the 
Parish Church was made, and his initials are on one of 
panels. John would not help his father when he was 
put in Pomfret jail for debt. Sometime after, Gillet's 
business as a draper went wrong, and he himself was 
cast into Halifax Prison. 

Oliver Hey wood's house is still to be seen in North- 
owram, and the old doorhead has: — 

"O. H. A. EBENEZER 1677." 

The initials stand for Oliver Heywood and his wife 

In 1630, John Tillotson was born at Haugh End, 
Sowerby. His father, Eobert Tillotson, was in the 
cloth trade and lived to be ninety-one. Colne Grammar 
School and Heath Grammar School claim to have had 
a share in John's education. He entered Clare Hall 
College, Cambridge, before he was seventeen. Three 
years later he was Bachelor of Arts, and attained his 
M.A. in 1654. On September 17th of that year, he 
preached at Halifax Church, while enjoying "a sojourn 



in the bracing air of Sowerby." Tillotson became one of 
the most famous of EngHsh preachers. In 1691, he was 






13?^%% • 

Fig. 67.--HAUGH End, Sowerby. 

Photo. H. P. Kendall. 

appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, but he only held 
the high office for three years, as he died on November 
22nd, 1694. Dr. Gordon in the ''Dictionary of National 



Biography," says " Testimony is unanimous as to 
Tillotson's sweetness of disposition, good humour, 
absolute frankness, tender-heartedness, and generosity." 
In Sowerby Church there is a fine statue of Archbishop 
Tillotson, carved by Joseph Wilton, KA. in 1746. 


Fig. 68.— Archbishop Tillotson's Signature. 

Photo. H. P. Kendall. 

**Our Local Portfolio," edited by E. J. Walker. 

(Halifax Guardian, commencing June, 1856). 

•' Halifax Parish Church under the Commonwealth." (1909). 

" Halifax Church,*1640-1660 " (1915-16-17). " The Gibbet Law Book " (1908). 
By T. W. Hanson. (Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions). 

"Halifax Gibbet Law," with appendix,'[reprinted by J. Horsfall Turner. 

Wright's "Antiquities of Halifax," ' do. do. 

"John Tillotson," by A. Gordon. (Dictionary of National Biography). 







The Civil War was bad for the cloth trade, though 
some of the Halifax makers carried on "business as 
usual " during war time. Tom Priestley of Good-greave, 
travelled to and from London with a string of eight or 
nine pack-horses. Sometimes he engaged a convoy to 
guard his horses ; at other times he ran the risks of the 
road without convoy, and during all that dangerous time 
he lost neither goods nor horses. He took £20 worth of 
cloth on each journey, and made £20 clear profit. The 
horses came back to Halifax laden with wool from Kent 
or Suffolk. 

The Exchange, where cloth was bought and sold in 
London, was at Blackwell Hall. Both James I. and 
Charles I. had issued proclamations forbidding the sale 
of cloth in London inns and warehouses. All the cloth 
had to be taken to Blackwell Hall, and the dues went 
towards the support of Christ's Hospital for the main- 
tenance of the poor children. Many of the Halifax 
manufacturers had agents living in London, to sell their 
cloth at Blackwell Hall. Joseph Fourness held such a 
position as a young man ; afterwards he became a 
partner in his firm and built Ovenden Hall for his 
residence. Halifax had a Cloth Hall (sometimes called 
Halifax Blackwell Hall) as early as Elizabeth's reign, 
and long before Leeds, Bradford, or Huddersfield. We 
also had a Linen Hall, but there are no records of the 
linen trade. The old Cloth Hall stood somewhere near 


the top of Crown Street — hence the place is still called 
Hall End. 

The lads who went as apprentices to the cloth trade 
in the seventeenth century bad to work very hard. 
Joseph Priestley, who was not a very strong youth, said 
that he regularly drove his master's pack-horses from 
Leeds or Wakefield, and when he reached his master's 
house, he would be given but a mess of broth, or cold 
milk and bread. 

Fig. 69.— A TUADKSMAN'S TOKKN, 1667. 

Robert Whatmough, Carrier for Halifax. 

Daniel Defoe visited Halifax several times in the 
early part of the eighteenth century, and he wrote a 
valuable account of the local trade, for he was always 
keenly interested in the making of things. His 
"Adventures of Robinson Crusoe" are not primarily 
concerned with exploring and fighting, but w^ith the 
making of his home and the supplying of his daily 
needs. The Kev. John Watson, in his " History of 
Halifax," says that Defoe wrote part of "Robinson 
Crusoe " w^hile staying at the E-ose and Crown in 

On one of his earliest visits ( 1 705), Defoe was surprised, 
that being such a busy trading centre, Halifax had no 
magistrates, no member of Parliament, nor any officer 
but a constable. In his " Tour through Great Britain " 
(w^hich he undertook about 1714) Defoe approached 


Halifax from Blackstone Edge. He observed that the 
nearer he came to HaHfax, the closer together were the 
houses. The hill-sides, which were very steep, were 
spread with houses, and hardly a house standing out of 
speaking distance from another. Each house had three 
or four small fields attached to it, a cow or two were 
kept for the family, but little or no corn was grown. 
Each clothier kept a horse to bring his wool and pro- 
visions from the market, and to carry his cloth to the 
fulling mill, or to his customer. At every house was a 
tenter on which hung a piece of cloth. A rill of running 
water was guided past each house, and the water used 
for scouring or dyeing. 

At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Halifax 
men began to try weaving finer cloths. Their staple 
trade had been the coarse woollen kerseys. Now they 
turned their attention to shalloons or worsteds, and 
endeavoured to capture the trade that engaged Norwich 
and the West of England. There is a vast difference 
between these two branches of the textile trade, though 
the important difference between woollen and worsted 
may be explained very simply. In the woollen industry, 
the wool is carded, and the fibres placed side by side 
by rollers covered with teeth, and the ribbon of wool is 
spun into a thick yarn. In the worsted industry, the 
wool is combed into long slivers, and the yarn spun from 
these slivers is much finer and brighter than the woollen 
yarn. The short wool fibres are combed out of the 
slivers, and sold to the woollen manufacturers. 

Samuel Hill of Making Place in Soyland, was one of 
the principal local makers who determined to capture 
the worsted trade. At the beginning of the eighteenth 
century he was doing a large trade in woollen kerseys. 



He had a quaint way of marking his pieces, naming the 
various quahties after members of his family. His 
price-hst of 1738 reads as follows: — 

Samuel Hill of Soyland at 60. 

Sam Hill of Soyland at 56. 

Sam and Eliz. Hill at 50. 

Elizabeth Hill at 41. 

Richard Hill ... ... at 39. 

Sam Hill at 37. 

James Hill ... at 33^. 

Sx Hx Soyland at 30." 

Fig. 70.— Making Place 
(about 1870, when it was Mr Dove's Academy). 

A few of Sam Hill's business letters, written in 1738, 
have been preserved and printed. These letters show 
him to have been a keen, hard-working man, blunt and 

SAM HILL. 181 

frank, used to saying exactly what he thought. He 
wrote to Hendrick and Peter Kops (merchants on the 
Continent): — "I very well know what all the makers 
can do, and when I cannot serve my friends as well or 
better, I will leave off business." Many of these letters 

Photo. H. P. Kendall. 

Fig. 71.— Sam Hill's Pattern Book. 

refer to his experiments in weaving worsteds, and his 
anxiety to attain success in that branch of trade. In a 
letter to an English merchant he says "Methinks I 
like to make them, and fancy I shall in time do it well." 
In another letter, addressed to Mr. Abraham Van 
Broyes, a merchant in the Low Countries, Sam Hill 


writes "The narrow Shaloons of the Mark Sam Hill . . . 
are, I think, such goods as I may say are not to be out- 
done in England by any Man, let Him be who He 
will." He also states that he commenced the worsted 
manufacture to keep some of his workmen from going to 
East Anglia, or the West of England, " but, however, 
I think it's now very evident these Manufactories will 
come, in spite of fate, into these northern Countys." 

Samuel Hill was in a very large way of business. 
In 1747, his turnover was £35,527 6s. 8d., and for 
several years about that date he never sold below 
£23,000 worth of cloth per annum. On February 21st, 
1744, one consignment of 22 bales to Cornelius and Jan 
Van der Vliet of Amsterdam, totalled £2,242 12s. The 
Soyland cloth was sent to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, 
Utrecht, Antwerp, Bremen, and Petrograd, and one 
pattern sheet is endorsed "Provided for St. Petersburg, 
to be sent from there to Persia by way of Astracan. " 

The introduction of the worsted trade was one of the 
great landmarks in the history of local trade. It was 
destined to make the West Riding into the greatest 
cloth centre of the world. It is easy to realise the vast 
difference it made to local manufacturers. In 1644, 
Tom Priestley of Soyland thought he was doing well 
when he sold £20 worth of woollen cloth' in London, but 
a hundred years later, Sam Hill of Soyland was selling 
£2,000 worth of worsteds at a time, or a hundred-fold 
advance in trade. We shall see a little later, the 
difierence this made in local architecture. At present 
we must note, for it is very important, that this gigantic 
business was being conducted from Soyland, a hill-top 
hamlet which no firm of to-day would select as a site for 
their business premises. 



Samuel Hill worked in a different manner from the 
older clothiers. It was manifestly impossible for him 
and his family to weave so much cloth, and also im- 
possible to have sufficient looms under his roof to 
produce the quantity. He gave out the work to the 
houses round about in Soyland and Sowerby, and he 
probably went further afield in his busy years. He 
would superintend the different branches of* the under- 
taking, but he must have employed hundreds of men to 
make up his vast stock. 

Pig. 72.— Entrance to Coal Mink (17th Century) at Upper Siddal Hall. 

The names of these cloths — calamancoe, camlet, 
grogram, russel, shalloon, and amens — are as old- 
fashioned and pretty as the names of wild flowers, and 
there is quite a romance in some of these titles. The 
last three are patterns that were first made in Flanders, 
and commemorate their birth-places — Rejssel (the 
Flemish name of Lille), Chalons-sur-Marue, and Amiens. 



On the top of Soil Hill, near Ogden, is a large mound 
in the shape of a ring, and in the centre of this ring is a 
deep hollow. It is the shaft of an old coal mine that has 
been filled in. Similar holes — some filled with water — 
are to be found about Soil Hill and other places. The 
most interesting relic is in the yard at the back of Siddal 

Fig. 73.— Ruins of Old Water- Wheel, Sim Carr Clough, Shibden. 

Hall, where, in what looks like the arch of an immense 
fireplace, we have the entrance to a seventeenth century 
coal pit. Then again, in the deep clough just above Sim 
Carr, Shibden, are the ruins where a water wheel once 
pumped the water from a neighbouring mine. In the 
rocks about Halifax are thin bands of coal, and in many 
places, especially Northowram and Southowram, this 
coal is near the surface, and was worked in very 


early days. In 1308, Kichard the Nailer received 
permission from the Lord of the Manor of Wakefield to 
dig for coals in the graveship of Hipperholme, and there 
are numerous later entries on the Court E-olls referring 
to local coal-mining. About the middle of the sixteenth 
century, the cloth-makers of York, complaining of the 
competition of the West E-iding clothiers, said that the 
men about Halifax had "fire, good and cheap." It 
certainly was a great advantage, and made the long 
winters more endurable, to have such good fuel, instead 
of gathering firewood. Defoe commented on the wise 
providence that had placed the coal on the hill-tops, so 
that horses could go empty up-hill, and come down 
laden with coal. He preferred the hills of Halifax to 
the beautiful mountains of the Lake Country, because 
our hills were more useful. 

In the eighteenth century, shafts were sunk to a 
depth of fifty yards, though many of the pits were not 
more than a dozen yards below the surface. [The word 
"pit" means an open quarry or hole]. In order to drain 
the water away from the workings, soughs or drifts 
were bored into the hill-side, and the mine could not be 
sunk below the level of the valley bottom because of the 
drainage. The first pump for the Shibden Hall mines 
was bought in 1755, and it only cost 8s. 6d. Twenty 
years later, water-wheels were erected at Mytholm at a 
cost of £1,000, to work the pumps in Mr. Jeremy 
Lister's colliery. In 1726, the first Gin-horse was used 
at Shibden. The horse walked round and round a ring, 
and the gin wound up the colliery rope on the same 
principle as a capstan. At the pit-head, the coal was 
loaded on to pack-horses, and carried down to the farm - 
houses. There were small coal-pits to the west of 



Halifax, but coal-mining on an extensive scale was 
confined to the east of the ridge that runs from Soil Hill 
to Elland Park Wood. 

In 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland, 
and taking advantage of the English defeat at Fontenoy, 
marched into England with his Highland host. On 
November 28th, a sergeant, a woman, and a drummer, 
(who was a Halifax man 'tis said) entered Manchester 
in advance of the Pretender's army, and gained 180 
recruits. Two days later, St. Andrew's Day, Charles 
Stuart came to Manchester. Yorkshire people were 
naturally alarmed at this Scotch invasion, and the 
deputy lieutenants proposed that the local forces should 
mobilise at Leeds, " as the valleys are narrow westward 
of that place, and the rivers now overflow their banks." 
This means that in the westerly parts about Halifax, 
there were such bad roads, and so few bridges that it 
was an impossible country for military operations in 
winter. The Jacobites marched as far south as Derby, 
and then the Pretender turned tail and retreated 
northward to Scotland. General Wade marched from 
Newcastle to catch the rebels, and was at Ferry-bridge 
when he heard of the retreat. His first order was to 
cross the Pennines and march through Halifax into 
Lancashire, but the Pretender's retreat was so rapid 
that General Wade had to aim at meeting the enemy 
farther north, and therefore Halifax missed seeing the 
King's army. 

General Guest, who gallantly held Edinburgh Castle 
during the '45 Rebellion, was born at Spout House, 
Hove Edge. William Fawcett, who was born at 
Shibden Hall on Sunday, April 30th, 1727, (his mother 
was a Lister) became Commander-in-Chief of the British 



Army. As an ensign he fought at Fontenoy, and with 
General Wade's army. During a time of peace he 


translated French and Prussian army books into 
English. In the Seven Years War, Captain Fawcett 


carried the despatches to the King announcing the 
victory of Warburg (July 31st, 1760). George II., who 
spoke German better than English, was pleased because 
Fawcett gave him a full account of the battle in 
German. Promotion followed, and ultimately Sir 
WilHam Fawcett rose to be head of the British Army. 

Many Halifax men joined the Army in those days, 
when England was fighting France, and some were 
forced to join the Mihtia. After 1757, each township 
had to prepare lists of their men between 18 and 45 
years of age, and the number of men j-equired for the 
Militia was selected by ballot. In 1776 for instance, 
Warley found five Militia men. Militia Clubs were 
formed, and the members paid a guinea and a half. 
The money was used to pay for substitutes for those 
members who were chosen by the ballot. The vast 
amount of money spent on the wars was a burden 
on the people. Food was very dear, and trade was 

*'The Priestley Memoirs," — (Surtees Sofiety, 1888). 

" A Tour through Great Britain," by Daniel Defoe. 

" The Letter Books of Joseph Holroyd and Sam liill," edited by H. Heaton. 
(Banktield Museum Notes, 1914). 

" Making Place in Soy land, and the Hill Family," by H. P. Kendall. 
(Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1916). 

" Lifn and Letters of Gen. Sir William Fawcett," by J. Lister. 
(EI all fax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 191 0-11-13-14). 

"Coal Mining in Yorkshire," by J. Lister — 

in "Old Yorkshire, (second series) 1885." 




At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the 
King's Ministers were so busy with foreign wars, that 
they had neither money nor thought to spare for home 
aiFairs. They neglected the Mint, and money became 
very scarce. Coins remained in circulation until their 
faces were rubbed bare, and no inscription could be seen. 
They also became smaller with long usage, and the 
newspapers published tables showing how much these 
short-weight guineas were worth. Careful tradesmen 
carried little scales, weighing the coins as well as 
counting them, as they were passed over the counter. 
In Bankfield Museum there is a collection of these neat 
pocket balances. Foreign money — Portuguese and 
Spanish — was legal tender, and moidores, double 
pistoles, and pieces of eight were used in England. 
Some merchants made their own money. Robert Wilson 
of Sowerby Bridge, boot -maker and general dealer, had 
engraved brass plates which represented half-a-guinea. 
Gamwel Sutcliffe of Stoneshey Gate, Heptonstall, gave 
cards for change, which he promised to redeem for 3s. 6d. 
You can see specimens of these in Bankfield. 

We can quite understand that when money was so 
rare, most people did not know the difference between a 
good coin and a bad one, or betwixt a light guinea and 
a full-weight one. The gang of Cragg Yale Coiners 
took advantage of this state of affairs, and their method 
of working was as follows: — 

They would give 22s. for a full-sized guinea. A 
piece of white paper was spread on the window-sill, and 


with a pair of shears, they cut shavings of gold from the 
edge of the guinea. Then a new edge was filed on the 
coin, and it was ready to return into circulation for 21s. 
The gold clippings were carefully collected, melted, and 
struck into imitation Portuguese moidores. At Bank- 
field are some of the actual coining dies that were used 
in Cragg Vale. It is calculated that forty pennyworth 
of gold was clipped from each guinea. The moidore 
passed for 27s., but these Cragg Coiners only put 22s. 
weight of gold into their counterfeits. So they made a 
profit of about a pound from seven whole guineas. 
David Hartley's father said they often treated one 
hundred guineas at a time. 

The geographical position of the Cragg farms was 
also an important factor for the "yellow trade." They were 
not far away from Halifax, a busy market town, where 
guineas could be obtained and returned, yet at the same 
time the coiner's houses were in lonely positions, where 
it was almost impossible to catch them by a surprise 
visit. The leader of the gang, David Hartley or "King 
David " lived at Bell House, a small farmhouse perched 
at the edge of beautiful Bell Hole. His brother Isaac 
was nicknamed the " Duke of York," and some of the 
others also had royal titles. A contemporary list names 
about seventy men of the district, who were suspected of 
clipping and coining. 

About 1767, some Halifax manufacturers reported 
the unlawful practices to the Government, for outsiders 
were shy of accepting Halifax money, but the official 
reply was that they could not spend money in 
prosecuting the coiners. Soon after, William Dighton, 
an Excise-man stationed at Halifax, wrote to the 
Solicitor of the Mint, and received a promise of 


Government support in any action he might take to 
suppress the gang. Mr. Dighton sought for some Cragg 
Vale man who would turn informer, and secured the 
services of James Broadbent, who lodged in Hall Gate, 
Mytholmroyd, and like most traitors, he turned out to 
be a most untrustworthy man. About the first week of 
October, 1769, Dighton met Broadbent at Hebden 
Bridge, with the idea of catching Thomas Clayton, 
one of the ringleaders. Clayton lived at Stannery End, 
a lone farmhouse at the corner of the Cragg and Calder 
valleys, on the edge of the moor above Mytholmroyd. 
He was a worsted manufacturer, and had two or three 
looms in his house. On the front of Stannery End, 
dates such as 1769 are roughly carved, reminders of the 
exciting years that the house then witnessed. However, 
when Dighton and his party reached Stannery End, 
Clayton had gone. 

The coiners were alarmed, and they conspired to 
murder Dighton. David Hartley and some others 
subscribed £100, to be given to the man who killed him. 
The next move was that "King David" was arrested at 
the Old Cock Inn, and a coiner called Jagger, at the 
Cross Pipes, Halifax, on Saturday, October 14th. The 
two men were taken to York Castle, and Broadbent 
gave evidence that he had seen them doctoring four 
guineas. James Broadbent went from York to Mytholm- 
royd, and told Isaac Hartley and the others what had 
happened. They persuaded Broadbent to return to 
York to say that he had made a mistake, and that his 
evidence was wrong. Broadbent went to York and 
elsewhere several times to recant his evidence, but the 
coiners were safe in York Castle, and there they had 
to stay. 


S9ft fS ff€^ 

C O I N E R S 



ON S U S IM C ! O ll 

Of Chipping, Filing, Edging, aiid Diminifliing the Gold . 

Coin of this Kingdom. ^ 

ON Wednrfday cvfnirg, ttn; fth inftjnt, 
wa^commurtH to York CaOIr, Jntin 
Picklrs, ot Wadfworth Banks, ncr 
Haii!ax, en fulpicion «t dinin /5i)i g 
diree guinea?, and one twrnty fcvtn Ihiilmg 
piedc of Hoftucal gold-: Atrr he was It'iz.d 
1d>ere were touhd m his pock ts, a pair of 
^-fciffars, and an inflrument lur milling iht rdges 
Ot goid piccfs. At the time tne atxive dclca- 
qucnt was apprt hrndrd, he *as inanoi.Auring 
vhitc pitces, and Ictnud to kave his Looms 
ycry relu&anlj : He is an rjderly man, near 
fixty, has a vrnc and larce iamily, and it it 
fu] pofcd he is an old offtnOcr. 

Alfo on Friday latl was committed to York 
Caftte, John Sutciyffe, of ErringUen, in the 
Weft Riding, chaijjtd with chipping, fi ini?, 
edging, and diminiftiing fivcrai guuitas, at.d 
n h.ilf a guinea. 

Alfo on Saturday !art, in the evening,—— 
Oidfield, of Mit'g'rv, was committed to York 
Caftie, for clij pn g, coining,, &c. Sic. 

' I. aft night in the evening, the wife of John 
PckVs, ammonlv calltd J.ick of Matts, 
ali..s J.irk ot I'..cket Well, w^s cotKJu<acd 
thri,* ;his town, iHalif.;x; on her way to 
York Cllie, on hcrlcback, with her h.nds 
t)'d, and coining tools in a bag by her fide. 
As (he pafTid thro" tne bottom of the town, 
the man »ho !e<t ihr horfc danc'd, and ihemob 
hoQixd her over the bt idgc. 1 h» wcmao bM 

been the moft noted Vender and procurer in 
ihcfc parts. 

, At the time iTie was taken, her feufbiod 
midr his tfcape ; Ifae hkcwifr declared, fhou'd 
her hufhjnd be taken and fuffer the law. (he 
wi u'd, i,thro' hit information,) bang fgrty 

This day feveral perfons of this tow» and 
parts adjacent, have aljlci nded, as is luppofed' 
lor fear of being ipprehendcd. 

It is alfo confidently afTcrtcd that there have 
been above ONE HUNDRED per- 

fons informed of, and that there -ire now 
Warrants out againft the moft confidcrable 
of them. 

We have now the p'cafing Tatisfafticn oF 
feeing the Bands of thrfc lormidable lit of 
vitlainK btoken : Terror and difmay have t^ktn 
holdrn of thim, am! they no longer daft face 
the injured public. 

Behold Great Turrin, fct the Time draw near. 
When every Golden Son fhali Qtake with 1- ear; 
See Tyburn gorged with piotr..atd t'ood, 
And honourd with the Weight ot * Koya) Blocd. 

• AlJudlug to fome of the COINERS Wo 
called KINGS. 

Fig. 75.— A Broadside (from Halifax Public Library). . 
At this date there was no local newspaper, and news was circulated by broadsides. 


Isaac Hartley was more than ever determined to be 
rid of Dighton, and he deputed Thomas Spencer, who 
lived at New House, Mytholmroyd, to find the assassins. 
Robert Thomas, who lived at Wadsworth Bank, and 
Matthew Normanton of Stannery End, promised to 
shoot the exciseman, and after several fruitless journeys, 
they laid in wait near Dighton's home at Bull Close 
(now Savile Close) on November 9th, 1769. Mrs. 
Dighton was sitting up for her husband, and soon after 
midnight she heard shots. Fearing the worst, the 
servant girl was sent to see what had happened, and she 
found her master murdered. Thomas and Normanton 
had hidden behind a wall near the bottom of the lane, 
now called Swires Boad. Thomas's piece missed fire, 
but Normanton's shot killed the exciseman, and they 
rifled the dead man's pockets. They set off to Mytholm- 
royd by the usual route of Highroad Well, Newlands 
Gate, and Midgley. 

An inquest was held, which the coroner adjourned 
from day to day, because there was no magistrate 
within several miles of Halifax, and therefore nobody 
but the coroner could examine witnesses. In those days, 
gentlemen tried to keep out of public positions, and did 
not appreciate the honour of serving their town and 
country. James Broadbent, the informer, was one of 
the men who were suspected of the crime, and he gave 
the coroner an account of his journey from York on the 
eve of the murder, in order to clear himself. 

The government felt obliged to take up the question 
of coining, seeing that one of their officials had been done 
to death, and £100 reward was offered for the discovery 
of the murderer. The Gentlemen and Merchants of the 
Town and Parish of Halifax added a second £100 to the 


reward. Broadbent was so anxious to secure the £200 
that he made another confession, and blamed Thomas, 
Normanton, and Folds (a cousin of Normanton) for the 
crime, and the three were committed to York Assizes. 

The Marquis of Rockingham, of Wentworth Wood- 
house, came to Halifax on behalf of the Government, and 
met the local gentlemen at the Talbot Inn in Woolshops. 
The meeting decided that the gentry had done their 
utmost, but they would exert themselves still further to 
discover the murderer, and to stop the clipping and 
coining. The gentlemen also recommended that 

Digh ton's family should receive a State pension. 

Lord Rockingham stayed with Mr. John Royds at 
his new house in George Street, (now named Somerset 
House) which was then the finest mansion in Halifax, 
and contains some fine plaster-work. The Marquis had 
been Prime Minister of England, and is famed for his 
patronage of, and friendship for Edmund Burke, the 
famous writer and politician. 

At the Sj)ring Assizes at York in 1770, about two 
dozen of the Goiners were on trial. David Hartley and 
James Oldfield were sentenced to death, and executed 
for coining. " King David " tried to save his life by 
giving evidence against his friends, and he stated that 
Normanton and 1'homas were the murderers, and his 
brother Isaac would confirm him. 

The trials of the other prisoners were postponed to 
the next Assizes, and the coiners released on bail. The 
prisons of England were so crowded at this time, that 
there was not room to keep even those charged with 
murder, in gaol. The murder trial was taken at the 
August Assizes, when James Broadbent gave most 



minute details of what had happened on the night of the 
murder, although we may be quite sure that he was 
nowhere near the scene on that night. His evidence 
was so untrustworthy that the jury acquitted Norman- 
ton and Thomas. 


Fig. 76.— The Inn at Mytholmroyd, a Resort of the Coiners. 

Two years afterwards, Thomas Clayton and Thomas 
Spencer gave fresh evidence against the two assassins. 
They could not be tried for murder again, but they were 
found guilty of highway robbery because they had 
emptied Mr. Dighton's pockets. The penalty was the 
same. Thomas and Norman ton were hanged at York, 
and their bodies suspended in chains on the top of our 
Beacon Hill, with their arms pointing to the scene of 
the murder. Halifax people did not like this, because 
the ugly sight was always before them for a long time. 

Some of the coiners were imprisoned, others trans- 
ported, and a few hanged, but although the judges were 


very severe, it was many years before the evil practice 
was stamped out. For instance, John Cocki-oft of Sand 
Hall, Highroad Well, was wanted in 1769 for clipping 
guineas. In 1778, he was tried at Lancaster for making 
half -pennies, but he got off. Finally in 1782, he was 
transported for making counterfeit shillings. 

The Cragg Vale Coiners, besides being bad and 
desperate men, were mostly cowards. As soon as they 
got into the clutches of the law, they incriminated their 
neighbours, friends, and even relations. Some writers 
have tried to throw an element of romance around the 
story, but it was really a most miserable business, and it 
is a relief to turn from the coiners to the study of men 
of a different type. 

Near the bottom of Cragg Vale, there stands on a 
little knoll, a house named Hoo Hole, with a fine 
chestnut tree before it. From the front windows can 
be seen the ridge on which stand Stannery End and 
other coiners' houses, while on the other side of the 
valley, behind Hoo Hole, are such notorious houses as 
Bell House, Keelham, and Hill Top. Hoo Hole is in the 
very centre of the coiners' country, and here on June 
28th, 1770, his sixty-seventh birthday, came John 
Wesley, "one of the makers of modern England," to 
preach. Two months before — to the day — David 
Hartley had been hanged, and many of the men of this 
district were then on bail to appear at York in about 
another month. It required some courage to preach in 
such a place. Wesley wrote of his visit in these words: — 
" It was a lovely valley encompassed by high mountains. 
I stood on the smooth grass before the house, which 
stands on a gently rising ground, and all the people 
on the slope before me. It was a glorious opportunity." 

Wesley's visits. 197 

On one of his early journeys into our district, (May, 
1747) Wesley came from Lancashire over the mountain 
road, passing Widdop, to Heptonstall. At Stoneshey 
Gate, he had a congregation that filled both the yard 
and the road. Many were seated on a long, dry wall, 
and in the middle of the sermon the wall fell down with 
the persons sitting on it. ''Not one was hurt at all," 
says Mr. Wesley, "nor was there any interruption of 
my speaking, or of the attention of the hearers." During 
the next summer, Wesley visited Halifax and attempted 
to preach at the Cross in the middle of Old Market, 
which caused a great commotion in the town. Mr. 
Wesley said " There was an immense number of people 
roaring like the waves of the sea, but the far greater 
part of them were still, and as soon as I began to speak, 
they seemed more and more attentive." To break up 
the meeting, a gentleman "scutched" half-pennies among 
the crowd ; then there was confusion, in which stones 
and mud were flung at the preacher. A few days later 
Mr. Wesley was mobbed at Colne, and he retired to 
Widdop, from which safe refuge he wrote a remonstrance 
to the church minister of Colne, who had encouraged 
the rioters. 

Wesley was again at Widdop in 1766, and the rock 
from which he preached is still known as Wesley's 
Pulpit. At such places as Widdop, Heptonstall, and 
Midgley, the people became eager to listen to his 
preaching, and Wesley grew fond of this district. In 
his Journal, he says that nothing since the Garden of 
Eden could be more pleasant than Calder Vale, between 
Todmorden and Heptonstall. He could not conceive 
anything more delightful than the steep mountains, 
clothed with wood to the top, and washed at the bottom 


by a clear, winding stream. This is indeed high praise, 
for John Wesley had seen more of England than any 
other man of his time. About Hebden Bridge and 
Eastwood the scenery is still beautiful, though the main 
valley has been .altered much in one hundred and fifty 
years; however, the glens of the Hebden and Crimsworth 
still remain unspoiled. Ewood, near Mytholmroyd, was 
a favourite house of the great preacher — "Ewood, which 
I still love, for good Mr. Grimshaw's sake." Mr. 
Grimshaw, rector of Haworth and Wesley's right-hand 
man, had a great influence on the people about Haworth, 
Halifax, and Todmorden. Mrs. Grimshaw's home had 
been at Ewood, and there the two preachers went for 
rest after heavy days of travelling and speaking. 

At Lightclifie lived a good and interesting lady in a 
fine old home — Mrs. Holmes of Smith House — who was 
one of the first to welcome John Wesley to our district. 
To Smith House also came the Moravians — missionaries 
from Germany — and they established a settlement in 
Lightclifie. They built a large, square house (Lightclifie 
House) near to Smith House, and they also occupied a 
house in Wakefield Road, called German House. Later, 
they made their headquarters -at Fulneck. 

This great Eevival of the eighteenth century had a 
wonderful efiect for good on our country, and our own 
neighbourhood received its full share of the benefit. In 
the streets and markets, in the fields and country places, 
preachers worked hard to make better men and women. 
Ordinary farmers, colliers, and cobblers, took to preaching 
as well as the regular ministers, and small chapels — 
often in cottages- -were started in each hamlet. Baptists 
and Independents as well as Wesleyans were alive to the 
new spirit. Some of the chapels of this epoch, like 


Wainsgate near Hebden Bridge, and Mount Zion near 
Ogden, appear to us to be situated in out-of-the-way 
places, and it has been suggested that their sites were 
chosen for their first members to be secure from 
persecution. The real fact is, that at the time of 
their establishment, these hilly places were centres of 

Titus Knight, a collier in the Shibden Hall mines, 
came under the notice of Mr. Wesley, and as he was of 
a studious and thoughtful turn of mind, the collier was 
asked to preach and to become a schoolmaster. Mr. 
Knight developed into a famous preacher, but later he 
left the Wesleyans, and Ultimately the large brick 
Square Chapel was built for him, where he had large 

"The Yorkshire Coiners," by H. Ling Roth. 

"Cragg Coiners," by T. W. Hanson. (Hx. Antiquarian Socy. Trans., 1909). 
"The Journal of the Rev. John Wesley." 

*' Methodist Heroes in the Great Haworth Round, 1734 to 1784." 
Compiled by J. W. Laycock. 




The Piece Hall is one of the finest historic monuments 
of our town. The building may be likened to a gigantic 
square amphitheatre, and each side of the square is a 
hundred yards long. The land, ten thousand square 
yards, was given by John Caygill, a wealthy merchant 
who lived at the Shay, who also made a donation of 
eight hundred guineas to the building fund. It cost 
about ten thousand pounds to build, and the Piece Hall 


is considered to be a good example of architecture, 
reflecting credit on the designer, Thomas Bradley, a 
local man. The top storey was named the Colonnade ; 
the lower gallery, the Hustic, and the bottom storey 
along the east side was the Arcade. The Piece Hall 
was opened on January 1st, 1779, with a great 
procession, with fireworks in the evening, and much 
rejoicing. It was a manufacturers' hall, and each 
manufacturer who subscribed £28 4s., became the owner 
of one of the 315 rooms. These figures and particulars 
are not as impressive as an actual visit to the Piece Hall, 
and the circuit of one of the galleries. Imagine each 
room full of pieces, and a manufacturer in each doorway 
waiting for buyers to come and look at his stock. When 
the market opens, the galleries are busy with merchants 
walking from room to room, and looking for their 
particular cloth. Down below, in the '"area," are the 
smaller makers who have carried their two or three 
pieces to Halifax Market for sale. Every Saturday, a 
large amount of cloth was sold here, to be sent to Leeds, 
London, and other parts of the kingdom, while other 
buyers were acting for the merchants of Holland and 
the Continent. A Directory of the Manufacturers' Hall 
published in 1787, informs us that the manufacturers 
who had rooms came from Ovenden, Sowerby, Soyland, 
Warley, Heptonstall, Stansfield, and the other townships 
of the parish ; from Burnley, Colne, Pendle, Skipton, 
Kildwick, Sutton-in-Craven, Bradford, Bingley, 
Keighley, and CuUingworth. Eobert Heaton, of 

Ponden, beyond Stanbury, had Room No. 120 in the 

The Piece Hall is a striking tribute to the pre- 
eminent place that Halifax held in the cloth trade at 


the middle of the eighteenth century. The Cloth Halls 
of Leeds, Huddersfield, and Bradford, were but small in 
comparison. We must next consider how the Piece 
Hall was used for business. On Saturday morning at 
eight o'clock the doors were opened, and from that time 
until a quarter to ten, the manufacturers were allowed 
to take in. their goods, but no cart was admitted that 
was drawn by more than one horse. The manufacturers 
opened their rooms, and arranged their stocks for the 
market. The small makers, who had no rooms, were 
charged a penny for each piece they brought into the 
Hall. At ten o'clock the Market Bell rang, and the 
sales began. If a merchant or buyer was found in the 
Hall before the bell rang, he was fined, so that every 
buyer had an equal chance. At twelve o'clock the bell 
proclaimed the market closed, and the buyers had to 
leave the Piece Hall. From half-past twelve until four 
o'clock, pack-horses and carts were admitted again to 
remove the cloth that had been sold. There was also a 
market for worsted yarn held in a large room on the 
south side of the Hall from 1-30 to 2-30. At four 
o'clock the gates were closed again, and the Piece Hall 
would be deserted until the following Saturday. We 
may get a glimpse inside one of the rooms with the aid 
of an old account book belonging to James Akroyd of 
Brookhouse, and Jonathan Akroyd of Lanehead, near 
Ogden, who were in partnership as worsted manu- 
facturers. At first they rented a room from Mr. 
Pollard, paying two pounds a year; but in 1785 they 
bought by auction for £30 2s., the room No. 80 Rustic. 
The number of pieces in the room varied from 50 to 330, 
and at the end of 1794 when they took stock, they had 
269 pieces, valued at £647 6s. Jonathan Akroyd, 





though a good business man, was a poor speller, for boys 
had little schooling then. He wrote "pees Haull " for 
Piece Hall. In October, 1801, there is this puzzling 
entry — "a Pease sined this Day by Boney Part." It 
refers to the preliminaries of peace with Napoleon, that 
were signed on October 1st, 1801. The prospect of 
peace made trade brisk, and 223 pieces were reduced to 
102 in a fortnight. 

The manufacturers, like the Akroyds, who sold their 
cloth in the Piece Hall, did not make this cloth in mills 
as is the modern method, but they superintended the 
various processes, though the work itself — combing, 
spinning, or weaving — was done at home. After the 
wool had been sorted, a wool-comber would receive a 
small quantity along with some soft soap and oil. The 
wool was thoroughly washed, and the comber took it 
home. At home he had a small drum-shaped iron stove 
(I6ins. high and 1 6ms. diameter) to heat his combs. 
The stove was called a " Pot," and often four men 
worked with one stove, and they called it "a pot o' 
four." An unsociable, or independent man was nick- 
named "a pot o' one." One comb was fixed on to a pad, 
which in turn was fixed to a post in the middle of the 
room. The wool was thrown on to the hot comb, and 
afterwards drawn off with the second hot comb. The 
wool was worked again on to the fixed comb, and drawn 
off by hand into long slivers. The slivers were placed 
on the wool-comber's form, rolled into balls, washed 
again, and wrung through rollers. The slivers were 
brought back to the bench, broken into small pieces, 
sprinkled with oil, and re-combed. After the second 
combing, the wool was drawn through a hole in a horn 
disc, and twisted into a neat-looking "top." The short 


wool that was combed out was called " noils," and that 
was used for the coarser woollen cloths, blankets, etc. 
In Bankfield Museum is a case containing the utensils of 
a hand-comber, and an illustrated pamphlet may be 
obtained giving full particulars of the processes. 

Four spinners were required to produce sufficient 
yarn to keep one weaver going ; therefore the manu- 
facturer was obliged to send his tops far afield to spin. 
From the Akroyd account books we discover that their 
wool was spun at Tossit and Wigglesworth, near Long 
Preston ; at Austwick near Clapham ; and a large 
quantity went as far as Dunsop Bridge, which is in 
the Trough of Bowland, a pass that leads to Lancaster. 
The wool travelled on pack horses, and the carriers 
charged half-a-crown to take a pack of wool to Dunsop 
Bridge. The spinners' wages were sent hidden in the 
wool-packs, exactly in the same way as the Egyptians 
hid their valuables in corn sacks in Joseph's time. At 
each place mentioned, Jonathan Akroyd had a small 
shop-keeper or agent, who was paid a half-penny 
a pound for putting out the wool. William 

Thomas of Dunsop Bridge, one of these agents, would 
distribute the wool among the farmhouses for the women 
to spin, and afterwards collect the yarn. The other 
Halifax manufacturers sent their wool into Craven and 
North Yorkshire to be spun, and Halifax was such an 
important centre that the old milestones beyond Settle 
give the distance from Halifax. 

In the valley above Wheatley is Waltroyd, a white- 
washed farmhouse sheltered by a huge chestnut tree, 
which in summer time is like a big umbrella over the 
house. Just over a hundred years ago, Waltroyd was 
the home of Cornelius Ash worth, farmer and hand-loom 


weaver. He kept a diary, and from his entries we can 
see exactly how a weaver worked. On October 14th, 
1782, Cornelius Ashworth "carried a piece," which 
means that he had finished weaving a piece, and had 
taken it to some manufacturer like Akroyd of Lanehead, 
though he never states where he delivered his work. 
The same day he wove 4 J yds., and the next day 9 yds. 
of a new piece. Then for a week the loom stood idle, for 
Ashworth was busy with his harvest. On the 23rd, he 
wove two yards before sunset, and " clouted my coat in 
the evening," which means mended or patched it. The 
next day, he churned until 10 o'clock, and Wove 6 J yds. 
during the rest of the day. The 25th turned out to be 
a very wet day, and as no outside work could be done, 
Ashworth spent the day at his loom, and wove 8|- yards. 
The day following was Saturday, when he took his corn 
to the miller, and in the afternoon helped in a neigh- 
bour's harvest field. On October 29th, Cornelius 
Ashworth wove 2 J yards ; on the following day 4 yards, 
which finished the piece, and he carried it to the 

This piece was 38 yards long ; he had taken sixteen 
days to weave it ; and he would probably be paid five 
or six shillings for his work. But of course he had been 
harvesting and farming, and he was at liberty to change 
from one work to the other as he liked. This is one 
great difference between the old days when a man 
worked at home, and the present time when a weaver 
has to stay in the mill from six in the morning until six 
at night. The older life was not so monotonous. Here 
is the record of one day: — "Saturday, August 16th, 
1 783 — A fine, warm, droughty day. I churned and 
sized a warp in the morning. Went to Halifax and saw^ 



two men hanged on Beacon Hill, their names Thomas 
Spencer and Mark Saltonstall, having been tried at 
York Assizes and found guilty of being active in a riot 
in and about Halifax in June last. They were sentenced 
to be executed on the above hill. We housed 38 hattocks 

Fig. 78.— Wai.troyd, 

Photo. H. P. Kendall. 

in the afternoon." The droughty weather helped the 
warp to dry after the sizing. Thomas Spencer was the 
man who arranged the murder of Mr. Dighton, and he 
came to his end for leading a mob to break into the 
warehouses on Corn Market, when bread was very dear. 

In order to complete the portrait of Mr. Ashworth^ 
we must note that he went most regularly every Sunday 

LIME. 207 

to Square Chapel, and later to Pellon Lane Chapel. If 
he did not attend service he wrote an apology in his 
diary, after this style: — "Sunday, August 7th, 1785 — 
I stayed at home till noon as I discovered a wound in a 
young heifer. I thought it a work of necessity to get it 
dressed immediately." Between the morning and after- 
noon services, he would go to an inn for dinner and hear 
all the local news of the week. Cornelius Ashworth 
comments several times on the number of open graves, he 
saw in the Parish Churchyard, for children during severe 
epidemics. The ministers of Square and Pellon Lane 
Chapels came once a month to Waltroyd to hold 
services in the large house, and the people about came to 
hear them preach. 

The highlands of our parish have never been favour- 
able to agriculture, but in the eighteenth century, there 
was more farming than is carried on nowadays. There 
were no large farms, but most of the clothiers, like 
Cornelius Ashworth, grew their own corn and kept a few 
cows. Corn was high in price, and if it had to be 
imported from a distance by pack-horses it was very 
dear. Some of the higher farms like Stannery End near 
Mytholmroyd, harvested crops from land where to-day 
it would be thought impossible to make such farming 
pay. The farmers had a few interesting methods of 
improving the soil that are now practically obsolete. 
Lime was an excellent dressing for the land, but Halifax 
is a long way from the limestone area. On the other 
side of Boulsworth Hill, about Thursden and Wycollar, 
is a glacial drift where, in remote ages, a glacier left 
boulders of various rocks. The limestone boulders were 
picked out of the drift, and burnt in lime-kilns. The 
other useless boulders were heaped into huge mounds. 


These hillocks are now grass-grown, covered with small 
trees, and form a picturesque and puzzling feature of the 
landscape. The lime was carried on pack-horses to the 
farms about Halifax, and some of the old pack-horse 
tracks beyond Wadsworth are called Limers' Gates. In 
a Shibdon Hall account book is this entry :—" 1721, 5 
loads Lancashire lime 6s. 8d." A load was two panniers 
of 1 cwt. each. Emily Bronte tells of Joseph leading 
lime from Wycollar district to Wuthering Heights. 
P. G. Hamerton saw the pack-horses carrying lime about 
Widdop as late as 1856. 

Cornelius Ash worth records that at Waltroyd the 
land was irrigated by water-furrowing. In the fields by 
the stream side, long ditches were dug from which 
channels and drains carried the water over the field. 
In the spring-time the beck was dammed, and the water 
turned into the ditches to overflow the land. In the 
higher fields, ditches were made, and water turned on to 
the land from the springs. In the fields at Waltroyd 
and elsewhere, traces of the ditches and gutters can still 
be seen. These stream -side fields were named " holmes." 
The original Scandinavian word meant "island," (for 
example, Stockholm). Then it was used for land in the 
bend of a river that was liable to be flooded. Locally we 
have old place-names, such as Tilley -holme, Mytholm, 
Bird-holme, and Dodge-holme. Lastly, a " holme " was 
a field that might be irrigated by a stream. 

When considering the seventeenth century houses, 
we decided that the windows afforded the surest guide 
for the date of the houses. In the eighteenth century 
houses, the window jambs and mullions are flush with 
the wall, because the walls were not built so thick. For 
the same reason the mullions are square in section. 

18th century houses. 209 

because there was not the need to bevel them. The 
number of Hghts was also gradually reduced. For such 
windows see the north side of Hop wood Hall ; Oaksroyd 
near Copley Station ; Knowl Top, Lightclifie ; or Hazle- 
hurst in Upper Shibden (1724). Another very common 
form of window is to be seen at the Pineapple Hotel, 
North Bridge ; the confectioner's shop in Gibbet Street, 
below Hoy land's Passage ; houses ofl" South Parade and 
at Wards End ; and the Malt Shovel Inn, Mytholmroyd 
(a haunt of the Cragg Coiners). It is a three-light 
window ; the centre light is higher than the sides, and 
has a semi-circular top with a keystone. It was called a 
Venetian window. Between King Cross Lane and Spice 
Cake Lane, are Middle Street and South Street. There 
you will find about a dozen houses with these windows. 
It is a most interesting block of houses, for it is the first 
row that was built in Halifax. Nowadays the vast 
majority of people live in rows of houses, but once upon 
a time the people lived in separate and detached houses. 

In the eighteenth century, brick came into fashion 
for Halifax houses, but it did not spread to the outlying 
townships. For examples, we have Square Chapel 
(1772); Stoney Royd (1764); the houses in the Square 
and at Wards End ; the first Halifax Baths at Lilly 
Bridge ; Waterside ; and an old brick warehouse 
between Union Street and Thomas Street. The new 
brick must have looked like sealing-wax, which was 
used on all letters in those days, for Halifax boys and 
girls used to sing: — 

*' Halifax is made of wax, 
Heptonstall of stone ; 
There's pretty girls in Halifax, 
In Heptonstall there's none." 

Watson, writing in 1775, thought that the cheaper 



brick would supplant the native stone, and that the 
future Halifax would be a brick-built town. 

Fig. 79.— South Street, King Ckoss Lane, 
The first row of houses erected in the town. 

The wealthy gentlemen of our neighbourhood built 
many fine houses during the eighteenth century. In 
fact, all over England, great mansions like Wentworth 
House and Chatsworth were being erected. One of the 
most famous of provincial architects was Carr of Yoik, 
who designed Farnley Hall, Denton Hall, and Harewood 
House. In our district he erected Pye Nest, White 
Windows (1768), and Mr. Royd's house in George 
Street. John Carr was the son of a Horbury mason. 
One story of his early days tells that his mother made 

18th century mansions. 211 

him a large, circular meat-pie every week. Each 
Monday morning, John divided his pie with his 
mason's compasses into six equal parts. The mansions 
of this period were large, square buildings, and the 
decorations and ornaments were copied from ancient 
Roman architecture. The style is known as "Classical." 
Besides the houses already named, there are Clare Hall ; 
Hope Hall ; Hopwood Hall ; Field House, Sowerby 
(1749); and Making Place, Soyland. John Horner's 
sketches (to be seen at Bankfield) give us an idea of the 
beautiful and extensive grounds that surrounded these 
houses. Comparing these classical houses with the 
seventeenth century halls, they are much larger and 
more imposing than the comfortable farm-houses of the 
previous century. The merchants for whom they were 
usually built, were richer and fewer than the small 
manufacturers of the previous century. The offices and 
warehouses of the merchant were often at the back of 
his house. At Hope Hall, tw^o wings jut out from the 
house, one of which was the stables, and the other served 
as the merchant's warehouse. 

The large houses, that were erected all over England 
in the eighteenth century, usually had fine libraries. 
One of the most famous bookshops in the kingdom was 
that of "Edwards of HaUfax." William Edwards, the 
father, "was for many years very eminent in his 
profession, and of no common estimation for the energies 
of his mind ; and his skill in collecting rare books, not 
less than his exquisite taste in rich and expensive 
bindings, will long be lecollected. " He died in 1808. 
James Edwards, his most famous son, who opened a 
London book shop in 1 784, was the first London book- 
seller to display valuable books in splendid bindings. 




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He speedily made a name as a great book collector, 
by out-bidding the king for an illuminated manuscript 
known as the Bedford Missal. James followed Napoleon's 
army into Italy, buying rare books and manuscripts 
from the soldiers after they had looted palaces and 
monasteries. James Edwards also purchased several 
notable Italian and French libraries, and was the means 
by which the great collections of England were enriched 
with the treasures of the Continent. His brother and 
partner, John, went to France during the Kevolution, 
hoping to secure more rare books, but he was guillotined 
while on this quest. James Edwards had such a passion 
for books, that he left instructions in his will that his 
coffin was to be made from his librar}^ shelves. The 
youngest brother, Bichard, also went to London, and is 
best remembered because he commissioned the great 
artist, William Blake, to draw over five hundred 
illustrations for an expensive edition of Young's " Night 
Thoughts," at a time when Blake was little understood 
or appreciated. Thomas Edwards, who stayed at home 
to keep the book shop in Old Market, sent out a 
catalogue in 1816, which mentions over 11,000 books. 
Halifax certainly had a wonderful book shop a century 
ago. Thomas was also a good art critic, for he encouraged 
J. M. W. Turner, long before he achieved fame. 

This gifted family is remembered, most of all b}^ 
book lovers, as famous book-binders. WilUam and his 
sons, James and Thomas, introduced new fashions in the 
art. As they are always referred to as " Edwards of 
Halifax," they have made our town known to collectors. 
One of their styles was to decorate books with classic 
designs that appealed strongly to their age, the calf skin 
being stained to the shades of terra cotta of ancient 

Fig. 81.— Binding in Transparent VelluivI by Edwards of Halifax. 

(From the Library of E. Marchetti, Esq.) Photo. O, E. Gledhill 


Grecian vases. Other books were covered with trans- 
parent vellum, and the underside of the vellum was 
decorated with appropriate paintings or drawings. 
Edwards also painted landscapes on the fore-edges of 
books. These beautiful paintings are hidden by the 
gold when the book is closed, but when the volume is 
opened and the leaves fanned out, the beautiful painting 
is discovered. A prayer book bound for Queen Charlotte 
is always on view in the show-cases of the British 
Museum. Bindings by Edwards of Halifax are highly 
prized by book collectors. There are a few fine specimens 
of their work in Halifax Public Library. 

"Hand Wool-combing," by H. L. Roth. 

(Bankfield Museum Notes No. 6, 1909). 
"The Diary of a Grandfather," by T. W. Hanson. 

(Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1916). 
"Edwards of Halifax," by T. W. HANSON. 

(Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1912). 









During the latter half of the eighteenth century, 
and in the early part of the nineteenth century, Halifax 
passed through the greatest changes in its history. 
First of all, new methods of transit for merchandise, and 
new modes of travelling were introduced — canals and 
good roads being made in place of the old pack-horse 
causeways. Secondly, it was an age of great inventions 




in the textile trades — machines were invented to take 
the place of the spinning wheels, hand combs, shearing 
boards, and hand looms. The new machinery produced 
much more yarn and cloth than the old way of hand- 
labour. Lastly, steam-power completed the great 
change. Large mills driven by steam engines, put out 
of action the early mills that had depended upon water- 
wheels for their power, and railways took the bulk of 
the traffic from the canals and roads. The hundred 
years from 1750 to 1850 has been named the age of the 
Industrial Revolution. These two long words are used 
by historians to denote the great change and upheaval 
caused by the vast increase of industry and trade. At 
the beginning of that time England was principally a 
farming country. By the end of this time, it had 
become the workshop of the world. 

Before we trace in detail the local history of the 
Industrial Revolution, it is worth while making another 
survey of the country-side, comparing our observations 
with those recorded in our first chapter on the geography 
of Halifax Parish in olden times. Suppose we take 
Norland as our starting point for a ramble. Norland's 
hill-side is dotted over with good seventeenth century 
houses, but very few modern ones. Descending into 
Sowerby Bridge, we find a modern town of mills, and 
rows of nineteenth century houses. Climbing up the 
opposite hill, we reach Sowerby, another old-world place. 
At the western boundary of Sowerby Township, we 
descend to Mytholmroyd — a modern manufacturing 
village. A little further west is Hebden Bridge, a valley 
town of no great agje, and ascending yet another steep 
hill we arrive at Heptonstall — an ancient town. We 
can read the story of the shifting of the population in 



the place-names of the Calder Valley. The prmcipal 
town at the western end of the parish was Heptonstall, 
but Hepton (Hebden) Bridge took its place when 
trade descended from the hills to the valley. Ancient 
Luddenden was outstripped by Luddenden Foot. 
Sowerby, once the richest township in the parish, saw 
its trade and people descend to Sowerby Bridge. 
Raetrick, set on a hill at the eastern end of the parish, 
had looked down on the insignificant house by the 
bridge over the Calder, which afterwards gave its name 
to the busy new town of Brighouse. As we have seen, 
many of" the industrial centres of Calder Yale bear 
names that show that they stand at a lower altitude 
than the older towns. 

One of the prophets, in looking forward to a great 
change in Hebrew times, said that "Every valley would 
be exalted, and each mountain and hill brought low." 
This poetic phrase would almost literally apply to this 
period of our local history. Or there is much truth in 
the striking statement that "the world was turned 
upside down" in this district. Sowerby Township was 
dome-shaped and bounded by Cragg Brook, Calder, 
By burn, and Lumb Beck, with Crow Hill as its apex. 
The new urban district of Sowerby Bridge is bowl- 
shaped, with the houses crowded in the bottom along 
the river-side, and the rim of the bowl formed by the 
heights of Norland, Sowerby, Warley, and Skircoat. 
The low-lying lands that had been considered useless 
in the middle ages, provided the best sites for mills 
and works. 

The Parish of Halifax is one of the most interesting 
places in which to study the effect of the Industrial 
Bevolution. In other parts of industrial England, all 



relics of an earlier period have disappeared as completely 
as if an ocean had rolled over the land, but about 
Halifax the tide of industrialism never rose high enough 
to submerge the old landmarks. It is easy to follow the 
course of the great changes. A Heptonstall clothier 
could not erect a spinning mill on the hill-top, because 

Fig. 83.— Olo Mill in a Clough near Blackshavv Head. 

there was no stream there to turn a water-wheel. 
Therefore the earliest mills were built in the doughs, 
such as the mill at New Bridge, near the lodge to 
Hardcastle Crags. The water-wheel has been removed, 
but the goit remains. A cluster of houses was built 
about the mill for some of the workers. On the banks 
of the Hebden stream, from Gibson Mill (close to Hard- 


castle Crag) down to Hebden Bridge, several mills and 
groups of houses were built. From this time the ancient 
town of Heptonstall ceased to grow, while below it, the 
valleys were becoming more populated. After a time 
the mills in the Hebden valley installed steam engines, 
and the higher mills were handicapped, because it was 
so costly to cart coals to them. The two mills at 
Hardcastle Crags have stopped running, and in Jumble 
Hole Clough, near Eastwood Station, are ruined mills 
(and cottages) that make us wonder why they were 
ever built in such positions. Dr. Whittaker, who 
published a history of this district at the beginning of 
the nineteenth century, said that a mountainous- country 
was the best for manufacturing. He was thinking of 
water-power when the early mills were driven by 
moorland streams. The canals and new high-roads 
were made along the valleys, and the mills that were 
able to use the new methods of transport had a great 
advantage. The age of steam and railways made the 
lower levels still more valuable, and doomed the ancient 
hill towns to stagnation. 

We noticed that in the old townships, a group of 
houses was called a " town," and we had Sowerby Town 
and Warley Town. This word was also given to the 
clusters of new houses that were erected. There is a 
Charlestown near Hebden Bridge, and a Charlestown 
near North Bridge, Halifax. A row or two of houses, 
midway between Haley Hill and Boothtown, was called 
Newtown ; the houses around Pellon Lane Chapel 
became Chapeltown ; and the district now called 
Claremount was formerly Beaumont Town. Our fore- 
fathers, with a touch of humour, dubbed the more 
extensive building scheme — Orange Street and in 
Wheatley— " The City." 


The manufacturers and merchants, of Hahfax in the 
eighteenth century (such as Sam Hill of Making Place) 
did a large export trade, and one of their difficulties was 
to transport their cloth to the ports. Leeds was better 
served than Halifax, for the River Aire had been made 
navigable, and boats for Hull could be loaded at Leeds 
docks. Halifax cloth was conveyed by waggons and 
pack-horses over Swales Moor, and through Bradford to 
the wharves at Leeds. To save the heavy cost of 
transport over this hilly route, it was determined to 
make a canal from Halifax to Wakefield, where a 
junction could be made with the Aire and Calder 
Navigation to Hull. In 1756, a committee was formed 
to make the preliminary arrangements, and as there 
were few canals at that date, it was deemed advisable 
to engage a good engineer. Smeaton, who was then 
building the Eddystone Lighthouse, was selected for the 
work. In the summer of 1757, many letters on the 
subject were written to Smeaton, for he could not leave 
Plymouth as it was essential to have the foundations of 
the lighthouse finished before the wintry gales com- 
menced. Smeaton was a busy man ; we can imagine 
him studying the Halifax letters and plans as he sailed 
to and from the Eddystone Rock. He would see the 
full-rigged wooden men-of-war, and possibly the flag- 
ships of Admiral Hawke or Rodney, sailing down the 
Channel to meet the French fleet. Sailors were very 
much interested in the new lighthouse, and Smeaton 
would enjoy many a chat with the sea-captains. 

On Friday, October 21st, 1757, the great engineer 
arrived at Halifax, and met the Committee at the 
Talbot Inn. On the Monday following he commenced 
his survey, and was taken down the river in a small 


boat in order that he might take measurements and 
particulars of the route. At that time the Calder was 
as clear and beautiful a river as the Wharfe is to-day. 
To cut a long story short, plans were drawn and 
permission obtained from Parliament to make the 
Calder navigable. Some of the landowners and mill- 
owners, whose property adjoined the river, opposed the 
scheme, and a large amount of money had to be spent in 
law-suits and for compensation. Serious floods occurred 
while the canal was being made, and some of the work 
had to be done two or three times. However, the 
promoters persevered, but the work cost much more 
money than had been estimated. The canal ended at 
Salterhebble, for at that time it was not considered 
practicable to continue it up the narrow, steep valley to 
Halifax. The old Salterhebble Docks, south of the 
bridge, became a very important and busy place, where 
Halifax cloth was shipped to Hull and the Continent. 

The Lancashire manufacturers were planning a canal 
from the Irish Sea to Rochdale, and onward into York- 
shire. They forced the Calder and Hebble Navigation 
promoters to make a branch canal from Salterhebble to 
Sowerby Bridge, aud this link made a through canal 
from the North Sea to the Irish Sea. The Hochdale 
Canal was not completed until 1802. The principal 
street in Sowerby Bridge was named Wharf Street, 
because it was the road to the canal wharves. The 
extension of the canal to Halifax was opened in 1828. 
Those who live near the canal, and who use the old word 
" cut " for it, may be interested to know that the Act of 
Parliament (1825) says " a navigable cut or canal from 
Salterhebble Bridge to Bailey Hall." It is difficult for 
us to understand why there was so much enthusiasm 


about the canal. Contemporary engravings depict a 
large stretch of water bearing a full-rigged ship, with 
our hills in the background. An allegorical figure 
bringing the horn of plenty, descends from the skies, 
and on the laden wharf in the foreground, gentlemen in 
quaint Georgian costume wave their three-cornered hats 
with joy. "An Essay on Halifax," published in 1761, 
broke into poetry, with: — 

" Methinks I see upon the beauteous vale, 
Upon the glossy surface of the stream, 
The teeming vessel gliding smoothly on ; 
Its swelling canvas holds the gentle gale, 
While on the deck the hardy^ sea-boy plays, 
Fearless of storms." 

'^"' "-^c,^,. 


Fig. 84.— Boat-Horse versus Pack-Horses/ 

Halifax men felt that they had a visible connection 
with the ocean and more interest in the Navy, whose 
great victories were making overseas commerce more 
secure. Foreign trade depended to a large extent on 
Britain's mastery of the sea. The great benefit to local 
trade wrought by the canals, can be expressed in a 
simple sum. One horse will pull as much weight on the 
Calder and Hebble Canal as a string of six hundred 
pack-horses can carry. By means of the canal, the corn 
grown on the rich York Plain became available for 


Halifax, and Wakefield became a great corn mart for 
this district. By 1834, Halifax was receiving corn from 
Ireland. In 1775, William Walker wanted a large 
amount of timber for the rebuilding of Crow Nest, Clifie 
Hill, and Lightcliflfe Church. He chartered a vessel in 
Hull, went to the Baltic shore of Bussia, brought the 
timber back to Hull, and then conveyed it by canal to 
Brighouse. Soon after the canal was finished, a large 
printing press was brought to Halifax. It was impossible 
to carry such heavy goods over the old, steep roads. 
Perhaps the greatest boon brought by the canal was 
coal. Miss Listers Diary states that in 1828, the local 
coal was selling at 7s., and it cost another 7s. for leading 
from Swales Moor into Halifax. The coal from Kirklees 
could be delivered to Bailey Hall wharf for 9s., and the 
leading into the town was only 2s. The local coal was 
getting worked out, and Dr. Whittaker made a woeful 
prophecy. He foresaw that when the coal was exhausted, 
the fences and houses, and even the Parish Church, 
would fall into ruins, the land would go out of cultiva- 
tion, and our hills and vales become a sheep-run. He 
was sure that within a measurable time, the extent of 
the ancient parish would support but a few shepherds, 
and the population decline until it became less than 
before the Norman Conquest. If it had not been for 
the canal, Halifax would have been in a desperate 
plight indeed, when coal for steam-power became a 
prime necessity for manufacturing. 

The canal gave the present name of Hebble to our 
stream. When the valley bottoms were neglected and 
of no account, the brook had no single name of its own. 
Each section had a separate title, such as Ogden Brook, 
Mixenden Beck, The Dodge, Jumples Beck, Ovenden 


Wood Brook, Halifax Brook, and Salterhebble Brook. 
In the same way, one of our streets is called Princess 
Street, Corn Market, Southgate, and Wards End, 
though these are but lengths of the same street. The 
end of the first canal was alongside the Salterhebble 
Brook, and this name became shortened to Hebble 
Brook. From a commercial standpoint it was the most 
important section of the stream. And so it came to pass 
that this name Hebble was bestowed on the whole 
length of the rivulet from Ogden to the Calder. A 
" hebble " originally meant a plank bridge, and Salter 
Hebble was at first a wooden. bridge built by a man who 
dealt in salts and dye-wares. 

At Stump Cross, at Ambler Thorn, near Greetland 
Station, and at other places on our main roads are Toll- 
bar houses. They are one-storeyed roadside houses, 
usually having a bay-window jutting out, from which 
the turn -pike man could observe all travellers. Fixed 
to the house-front was a large board on which the scale 
of tolls was painted. From the bar-house, a gate 
stretched across the road, and every driver passing 
along the highway had to pay a toll to have the gate 
opened. The tolls for the road from Halifax to Bradford 
were sixpence for every waggon or carriage drawn by 
four houses, fourpence for two or three horses, three- 
pence for each one-horsed vehicle, sixpence a score for 
cattle, twopence halfpenny for each score of pigs or 
sheep, and a halfpenny for every horse or ass. It 
appears very strange to us that people had to pay to go 
along the roads, but the tolls paid for the making and 
repairing of these new roads. 

The large increase of trade made more traffic between 
the various parts of the kingdom, and the canals only 


touched a few. places. Roads were needed on which 
waggons and carts could travel easily, for in our part of 
the country the steep pack-horse causeways were 
impossible for wheeled traffic. There were very few 
bridges, and most of those were like the narrow arch 
that spans Lumb Falls. If there was a similar problem 

Fig. 85.— Toll Bar on Wakefield Road, Sowerisy Bridge (1824-1870). 

to tackle to-day, the government or the public would 
undertake it, but in the eighteenth century it was left 
to private enterprise. A number of merchants and 
landowners formed themselves into a company, or 
Turnpike Trust, with the object of improving the road 
between two towns, and they applied to Parliament for 


power to make their road. The revenue of the Trust 
was obtained from the tolls collected at the bar houses. 
The Turnpike Roads were better planned than the old 
roads. The present road to Queensbury — ^the tram 
route — was a Turnpike Road, made under an Act of 
Parliament dated 1753, and its toll-bars were abolished 
in 1861. The old road went up Range Bank and across 
Swales Moor, and it was also the only way to Leeds until 
the Whitehall Road was opened. The Act concerning 
the Halifax and Rochdale Road over Blackstone Edge 
came into force on June 1st, 1735, and is one of the 
earliest in the country. The road to Todmorden and 
Burnley was made by a Trust created in 1760, and 
followed a route through Luddenden Foot, Mytholm- 
royd, and Hebden Bridge. The old pack-horse road into 
Lancashire went by Highroad Well. Li the 18th 
century, this was known as Harewood Well, or in the 
dialect pronunciation — Harrod Well. After the low 
turnpike road was made, the name was corrupted to 
Highroad Well. This high road is about Midgley called 
the Heights Road, and beyond Blackshaw Head it 
is known as the Long Causeway. The local troops used 
this road in the Civil Wars. In many places it resembles 
a mountain pass. Its route is indicated in the following 

" Burnley for ready money, 
Mearclough noa trust ; 
Yo're peeping in at Stiperden, 
And call at Kebs yo' must ; 
Blackshaw Head for travellers, 
And Heptonstall for trust ; 
Hepton Brig for landladies, 
And Midgley near the moor ; 
Ludd end en's a warm spot, 
Koyle's Head's cold ; 
An' when yo' get to Halifax, 
Yo' mun be varry bold." 



A journey over a section of this old route, returning 
home by the newer and lower road, will give you the 
best idea of the improvement made. There is a point 
worth noting about this Calder Yale road. If there had 
been a national system of roads, as there is in France, 
there would be a great trunk road from Todmorden 
down the length of the Calder Valley to Wakefield. 
Because the roads were made by local committees, there 
is a link missing between Luddenden Foot and Sowerby 
Bridge, and carts have to take the hilly way by Tuel 

Fig. 86.— Pack Saddle and Pillion. 

The most famous English road engineers were Telford 
and Macadam. Telford's road from London to Holyhead 
was so planned that a horse might trot every inch of 
the way, even over the part that threaded the Welsh 
mountains. Macadam uivented a new surface for roads, 
and we still speak of macadamised roads. Yorkshire 
had a gifted road-maker, even before their time, named 
John Metcalfe of Knaresborough. He lost his sight 
when quite a child through small-pox, but "Blind Jack" 


grew up fearless and strong, fond of following the 
hounds, and excelling in many sports. Metcalfe con- 
tracted to make a road through a bog near Harrogate, 
and he built a bridge at Boroughbridge. He was so 
successful that he was engaged to make many roads 
throughout Yorkshire and Lancashire. " Blind Jack " 
made the road passing Shibden Industrial School, called 
Lister Boad, which was the main road before Godley 
Boad was cut. He also was responsible for the road 
between Halifax and Huddersfield. It is wonderful, 
that without sight, he was able to survey a road. Stick 
in hand, he walked up and down the hillsides to gain a 
knowledge of the country to be traversed, and in that 
manner decided on the best line for his road. The 
canals and roads made a great difference to our district, 
and were partly the cause of the gravitation of the 
people to the valleys. New houses and mills were built 
on the road-side at Triangle and Bipponden. Soyland 
then decreased in population. In Ovenden township, 
the bulk of the people had lived in Wheatley, Ovenden 
Wood, and Mixenden. The Keighley Boad, completed 
about 1785, went up the other valley, and a new 
Ovenden sprang up which has since become the centre 
of the township. The cleverest engineer could not 
make level roads in Halifax Parish because of our hills. 
Leeds and other towns were better placed, and Halifax 
was finding that Nature had handicapped it for the new 
development of road travel. The system of turnpike- 
roads throughout the country made it possible for 
Englishmen to explore their own country, and travelling 
became fashionable. This in turn created a demand for 
books on the sights and history of every district. 
Among these publications is '' The History and Anti- 


quities of the Parish of Hahfax in Yorkshire," written by 
the Kev. John Watson, 1775. It is a thick quarto 
volume, and contains the result of much industry and 

In the summer of 1781, a Colchester clergyman, 
while on a driving tour, described the scenery on the 
main road between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden: — 
"The valley contracts itself; the hills crowd about 
you, rising almost perpendicularly on each side, wooded 
from top to bottom with black, craggy rocks joeeping out 
here and there ; picturesque little mills with their rush 
of water, close under the woods ; bridges, some of stone 
of a single arch, others of wood, but all exactly such as 
a painter would have them ; cottages perched about, 
some in the road, others close to the stream, others over 
your head, in most romantic and improbable situations, 
more like stone nests than houses ; here and there little 
cross vales opening into this, paths winding up the 
woods, craggy roads losing themselves round the corner 
of a wood, etc., etc. I sicken with vague description! 
In short, the effect it had on me was that of painted 
landscapes of the most invented and poetic kind realised; 
and every object, animate or inanimate, that we saw was 
of a piece with the surrounding scene, and they seem to 
have been placed where they were on purpose, as much 
as mile-stones and guide-posts are in vulgar roads ; a 
man with a pack on his shoulder and a stafl* in his hand, 
trudging over a rustic bridge, or climbing up a winding 
path through a wood ; men driving pack-horses, or 
lounging along side-ways on the empty pack-saddle — a 
favourite figure with painters." Writing of the view of 
Calder Vale at Elland, he said "I never felt anything so 
fine. I shall remember it and thank God for it as long 


as I live. I am sorry I did not think to say grace after 
it. Are we to be grateful for nothing but beef and 
pudding; to thank God for life and not for happiness?" 
The great inn -yards are interesting relics of this 
epoch of olden Halifax. We have the Union Cross 
Yard, Old Cock Yard, Northgate Hotel Yard, Upper 
George and Lower George Yards. Many of these yards 
were larger at one time, but their space has been 
encroached upon by building. The large stones placed 
at the entrances and corners, and the horse-blocks speak 
of a time when the yards were crowded with farmers' 
gigs, manufacturers' carts, carriers' waggons, and stage 
coaches. Every morning at nine o'clock, a waggon 
belonging to Deacon, Hanson & Co. set out for London, 
and other firms also had a service. Three times a week 
a waggon left for Skipton, Settle, Lancaster, and Kendal, 
and other carriers catered for Sheffield, Manchester, 
Leeds, and all other centres. In 1845, there were 
about fifty carriers who made regular journeys from 
Halifax to various places. Pack-horses were still work- 
ing about 1850, and P. G. Hamerton the art critic, 
mentions in his book, pack-horses at Widdop. 

In 1830, the following coaches left the White Swan 
Inn: — 

4 a.m. Koyal Hope - - to London in 27 hours. 

5 30 ,, Shuttle - - to Blackpool. 

7 ,. Perseverance - - to Manchester. 

7 0,, Hark Forward to Wakefield. 

7 ,, Alexander - - to Bradford and Leeds. 

8 ,, Duke of Leeds - to Liverpool. 

11 15 ,, High Flier - - to Wetherby. 

12 15 p.m. Royal Mail - - to Manchester. 
12 45 ,, Royal Mail - - to York. 

1 30 ,, Commerce - - to Liverpool. 

3 15 ,, Duke of Leeds - to Leeds. 

3 45 ,, High Flier - - to Manchester. 

6 ,, Commerce - - to Leeds. 


Coaches ran from the other inns, either as rivals to 
those from the Swan, or to different places. The Post 
Office used the mail coaches for sending letters, but 
postage was dear. In 1820, the postage on a letter 
from Halifax to Bradford or Huddersfield was 4d., to 
Manchester 6d., and to London lid. Halifax had not 
so good a coach service as Leeds, Wakefield, and Man- 
chester, and Halifax merchants at the beginning of the 
nineteenth century found that their competitors in 
other towns had fuller and later information about the 
various markets. Travelling by stage-coach was too 
dear for poor people, and we have an interesting account 
as to how one man came by road from London.. Luke 
Priestley of Brandy Hole, Greetland, was discharged 
from the army in April, 1817, in the Isle of Wight. 
Wearing his red coat and knapsack, with about a guinea 
in his pocket, he set out for home. By the time he 
reached London he had little money left. Enquiring for 
the north road, he walked to Highgate, whence a man 
carried his knapsack three miles for sixpence, and a 
coachman gave him a lift to Hatfield, where he stayed 
the night. At that time, waggons loaded with wool 
journeyed from London to Halifax, the drivers riding on 
ponies beside their waggons. Priestley looked out 
for these drivers, and would get a ride on the pony 
whilst the driver had a sleep in the waggon tail. By 
this means he reached Wakefield, where he sought out a- 
flock dealer who traded with Greetland. He stayed the 
night at his house, and reached home the next day on 
the flock dealer's cart. 

John Foster, who was born at the Manor House, 
Wadsworth Lanes, near Hebden Bridge in 1770, became 
a great English writer by reason of his famous essays. 


In his boyhood he rambled among the "narrrow, deep, 
long-extended glens, with thick, dark woods and rapid 
torrents from the mountains, all together forming scenes 
of the most solemn and romantic character." In 1801, 
he paid his last visit to Yorkshire, for he was so 
disappointed that he never came north again. Some 
years afterwards he wrote these remarkable words: — 
'' The solemnity and silence of these valleys, with almost 
all their romantic and ghostly influences, have since 
vanished at the invasion of agriculture and manu- 
facturing establishments." We all know that the 
country has been spoiled since John Wesley, Thomas 
Twining, and John Foster praised its beauties, and we 
blame the factories for the change. What did John 
Foster mean by the invasion of agriculture ? 

In the eighteenth century, very little of the land, 
comparatively speaking, on our hill-sides was parcelled 
out in fields. The hills were more like the fells of the 
Lake District, where we can roam about just where we 
wish, and Foster as a boy would be able to walk for 
miles without encountering a stone wall. About Wads- 
worth to-day, we are obliged to keep to field-paths, 
and to thread through innumerable wall-stiles. At the 
end of the eighteenth century, and at the beginning of 
the nineteenth, Enclosure Acts were passed by Parlia- 
ment, which afiected our parish along with the rest of 
the kingdom. The lord of the manor and the principal 
landowners decided to improve the waste lands, the 
commons, and the great open fields of the township or 
parish. They proceeded to obtain an Enclosure Act, and 
after such Act received the royal assent, commissioners 
came and divided the land among the landowners. In 
many places — Elland and Stainland are local examples — 



the old open fields which, as mentioned in one of our 
earliest chapters, had been in existence from time 
immemorial, were divided up along with the commons. 
The poor man lost his right to pasture his cow, donkey, 
or pig, and the right to gather fuel in the woods or on 
the moors. Some men, who had a small piece of land 
allotted to them, could not afibrd to pay the cost of 
fencing and enclosing it, nor. the legal charges for the 
Parliamentary work, and therefore they had to sell their 
share to some richer neighbour. The English peasant 
lost his hold on the land, and is therefore to-day in a 
very difierent position from the French peasant, who, 
however poor, has some right to the land. In the great 
agricultural districts of the Midlands and the South, the 
smaller farms were destroyed, and very large farms 
substituted. The peasants were thrown out of work and 
home, and they and their children flocked into Lancashire 
and Yorkshire to find employment in the new mills, and 
thus competed with the local people for work. The 
landowners became very rich by these enclosures. 
Parliament represented only the landed classes, and the 
poor people had few champions, and these had not the 
power to oppose the Acts to any purpose. In the 
farming districts, large farms were made, and as new 
methods of agriculture were being tried, and as corn was 
at a high price, farming was very profitable. 

In the township of Ovenden, twelve hundred acres 
were enclosed in 1814. Skircoat Moor is about fifty-six 
acres, and from that we can form some idea of the large 
quantity of land involved. Some of it would be very 
poor land, and some was the most valuable land in 
Ovenden. The total area of the township is little more 
than five thousand acres, therefore about one quarter of 



the township was enclosed at that time. The fields of 
this period may be identified by their straight walls and 
mathematical planning. They are easily traced in the 
fields along Cousin Lane, lUingworth, and the fields on 
Illingworth Moor — between Wrigley Hill and Soil Hill. 
The same process of enclosure took place in the other 
townships, until the whole parish was criss-crossed with 
stone walls. The enclosure of the commons obliged 
many families to give up keeping a cow and there was a 

Photo. E. Roberts. 

Fig. 87.— Enclosures, Cousin Lane, Ovenden. 

serious milk famine, for the farmers would not trouble to 
sell milk retail. Watson mentions the shortage as one 
of the drawbacks of the district, and the Luddites 
threatened to shoot George Haigh of Copley Gate if he 
would not sell milk to his neighbours. Oatmeal and 
oatcake had been the staple food, and for porridge you 
must have milk. The milk famine made the people into 
tea-drinkers, and white, wheaten bread took the place of 
havercake. The cottagers also lost their privilege of 
gathering sticks in the woods and peat from the moors, 
for everywhere there were planted notice-boards-7- 


*' Trespassers will be Prosecuted." John Foster was 
one of the few men who voiced the injustice of the 
Enclosures, and we can easily understand how the sight 
of all these new raw walls moved him with indignation. 

The great inventions, by means of which cloth was 
made by machinery — ^ water-power and steam-power 
taking the place of hand labour — made more alterations 
in the life of the people than had ever taken place 
before. Most of these inventions were first introduced 
in the cotton trade, a comparatively new trade, and the 
more conservative woollen and worsted manufacturers 
were later in adopting the improvements. In 1764, 
Hargreaves, a Blackburn weaver, patented a spinning 
jenny, by which eight threads could be spun instead of 
the single thread of the old-fashioned spinning wheel. 
Five years later, Arkwright, a Preston barber, invented 
a spinning machine in which the cotton was drawn out 
fine by means of rollers. The new spinning machines 
were at first turned by hand, and later by a horse gin. 
Afterwards, water wheels were used to provide power 
for the spinning machinery. There was much prejudice 
against the new machines, and many of them were 
destroyed by crowds who thought that the machinery 
would take away their livelihood. Some of the inventors 
were in danger of their lives. There were a number of 
cotton mills in the parish, especially towards its western 
end. Calico Hall, the old name for Clare Hall, shows 
that the cotton trade was carried on in Halifax, and in 
the eighteenth century there was a cotton factory in 
Spring Hall Lane. It has been transformed into a row 
of houses, and is near the Barracks. 

Our interest however, is more in the worsted trade. 
We have already noted the great difficulty there was in 


supplying the weavers with yarn, and how the spinning 
had to be done in the farmhouses of Craven and other 
parts of Yorkshire. The worsted manufacturers were 
anxious to obtain a better supply. The early spinning 
mills were not always successful, and many experiments 
had to be made before satisfactory yarn could be 
produced. Mr. Walker, of Walterclough in South- 
ovvram, engaged a man called Swendall to fit up a mill 
at Shaw Syke about 1784, and later a spinning mill was 
built at Walterclough, but the venture was a failure. 
The earliest worsted spinning factory is said to have 
been in 1 784, at Dolphin Holme near Lancaster. This 
mill supplied large quantities of yarn to Halifax and 
Bradford. In 1792, Thomas Edmondson, one of the 
partners in the Dolphin Holme Mill, built a large mill at 
Mytholmroyd, and for many years it was the largest 
spinning factory in our district. It stood on the 
opposite side of the road to Mytholmroyd Church, where 
now is the Empress Foundry, and the water-wheel was 
driven by the water from a goit connected with Hawks- 
clough. A few corn mills, a few fulling mills, and a few^ 
shears-grinders' works dotted here and there on the 
banks of the streams, made up the total of the old mills. 
The public-house sign " The Shears," marks the position 
of a shear-grinder at Lee Bridge, Whitegate Bottom, 
West Vale, and a few other places. The finishing of a 
piece of cloth is still called "milling," though every 
process is now done in mills, but at one time, only the 
fulling was done in a mill. At the beginning of the 
nineteenth century, almost every clough had its string 
of new spinning mills, and the moorland becks were 
kept busy turning their water-wheels. At first the 
machine-spun yarns were not so good as hand-spun, but 
they gradually improved until the weavers preferred 



the new yarns. We hear of a weaver setting a row of 
nineteen candles under the loom beam to singe the loose 
hairs of the rough, machine-spun yarn. About 1800, 
Michael Greenwood, of Limed House in Shibden, 
invented a false reed or sley to guide the yarn into its 
proper place, and that was a great help in weaving the 

Fig. 88.— "Mill ne\r Ovendex Taken Down in 1817." 

Sketched by John Hortter. 

new yarn. The weavers had not been able to take full 
advantage of Kay's Fly Shuttle, which had been 
invented as early as 1738, until the stronger mill-spun 
yarn was procurable. Kay's device was to have a 
shuttle box on each side of the loom, each box attached 
by a cord to a short stick, which he held in one hand. 
By means of the stick and the two cords, he could jerk 
the shuttle from one box to the other along a race board 


beneath the warps, while his other hand was free to 
push the weft home. There is a specimen in Bankfield 
Museum. The fly-shuttle moved much faster than the 
old one, and so each weaver could make more cloth and 
wanted more yarn. The Rev. Edmund Cartwright 
invented a power-loom between 1784 and 1787, but it 
was a long time after that before weaving machinery 
was successfully used. Miss Lister's Diary informs us 
that in 1826, three Halifax firms had power looms — 
Akroyd's, Peter Bold's, and Kershaw's — but for many 
years after that date, fancy fabrics w^ere woven by 

Then came the Steam Engine. The earliest engines 
were of rudimentary construction, and only slowly did 
they supplant the water-wheel. One of the earliest 
steam engines to be erected locally was at Jumples Mill, 
and its duty was to pump the water that had run over 
the water-wheel, up again into the mill-race to drive the 
water-wheel once more. In 1825, the owners of the mills 
driven by the Mixenden and Wheatley stream were so 
content with water-power, that they decided to make a 
reservoir at Ogden to ensure a more constant flow of 
water. But in 1826 there was a long drought, and the 
mill-owners abandoned their reservoir scheme, and 
equipped their mills with steam engines. Bradford 
manufacturers adopted factories and steam power more 
readily than the Halifax men, and from this time we 
may date Bradford's pre-eminence in the w^orsted trade. 
On Saturday, June 25th, 1831, Miss Lister made a 
journey from Halifax to York. She wrote " In passing 
along, I could not help observing on the comparatively 
fine, clear air of Halifax. Never in my life did I see a 
more smoky place than Bradford. The great, long 


chimneys are doubled I think, in number within these 
two or three years. The same may be said of Leeds. 
I begin to consider Halifax one of the cleanest and most 
comely of manufacturing towns." Five years later, Miss 
Lister made this note: — "Robert Mann said that three 
40 -horse power, and one 60 -horse-power steam engines 
ordered at Low Moor, and four 40-horse power engines 
ordered at Bowling for mills to be built in Halifax." 
Eeturning from a week-end at Bolton Woods in 1837, 
Miss Lister found that " Halifax is now brightening into 
the polish of a large smoke-canopied commercial town." 
One of the largest mills built at this time was Old 
Lane Mill, situated between Old Lane and Lee Bank, 
which was erected by James Akroyd in 1828, and had 
an engine of 60-horse power. The Akroyd's, as we have 
seen, had originally carried on a large business from 
their homes at Brookhouse and Lanehead near Ogden. 
Then they built Brookhouse Mill, run by a water-wheel 
which was fed by an ingenious system of goits and 
aqueducts. With the era of steam, the Akroyd's moved 
lower down the valley, and erected large mills at Old 
Lane and Bowling Dyke. Steam engines require a large 
and regular supply of coal, therefore it was an advantage 
to be near the canal. Gradually, the mills in the moor- 
land doughs had to close, and newer and larger mills 
were built in the Calder Valley, and this induced the 
population to move from the heights into the valley 

"The Naming of the Hebble," by T. W. Hanson. 

(Halifax Antiquarian Society's Transactions, 1914). 
" Halifax in the Eighteenth Century," by F. A. Leyland. 

("Halifax Courier," commencing March 6th, 1886). 
" A Country Clergyman of the Eighteenth Century " — TWINING. 
"The Village Labourer, 1760-1832," by J. L. & B. Hammond. 
" Social Life in Halifax, early in the Nineteenth Century." 

[Diary of Miss Lister]. (" Hx. Guardian," commencing June 11th, 1887). 





From " The Cry oj the Children," by Mrs. Browning. 

Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers, 

Ere the sorrow comes with years ? 
They are leaning their young heads against their mothers, 

And that cannot stop their tears. 
The young lambs are bleating in the meadows. 

The young birds are chirping in the nest, 
The young fawns are playing with the shadows, 

The young flowers are blowing toward the west — 
But the young, young children, O my brothers, 

They are weeping bitterly ! 
They are weeping in the playtime of the others, 

In the country of the free. 

' For oh,' say the children, ' we are weary, 

And we cannot run or leap ; 
If we cared for any meadows, it were merely 

To drop down in them and sleep. 
Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping. 

We fall upon our faces, trying to go ; 
And, underneath our heavy eyelids drooping, 

The reddest flower would look as pale as snow. 
For, all day, we drag our burden tiring 

Through the coal-dark, underground; 
Or, all day, we drive the wheels of iron 
In the factories, round and round. 

' For, all day, the wheels are droning, turning ; 

Their wind comes in our faces, 
Till our hearts turn, our heads with pulses burning, 

And the walls turn in their places : 
Turns the sky in the high window blank and reeling. 

Turns the long light that drops adown the wall, 
Turns the black flies that crawl along the ceiling, 

All are turning, all the day, and we with all. 
And all day, the iron wheels are droning. 

And sometimes we could pray, 
*' O ye wheels,'' (breaking out in a mad moaning) 
"Stop! be silent for to-day! " ' 


Besides turning our local world upside down, the 
mills wrought tremendous changes in the habits and 
lives of the people. The women and children, who had 
plied the spinning wheels, were engaged to attend to the 
new spinning machines, and were the first to suffer in 
the mills. Children had been badly treated before this 
time. Defoe noted with approval that about Halifax 
''scarce anything above four years old, but its hands 
were sufficient for its own support." The statement 
shocks us. The little biographies of workers in the 
Wesleyan Revival, give us glimpses of the hard times 
imposed on children. Fiddler Thompson and Jonathan 
Savile were made cripples by the cruelties of hard 
masters. Titus Knight, afterwards minister of Square 
Chapel, worked in the Shibden coal-pits when he was 
seven. Dan Taylor, who was born at Sour Milk Hall and 
became a Baptist preacher, commenced work in a colliery 
under Beacon Hill at five years old. The sledges were 
all dragged from the coal-face to the pit-shaft by boys 
and girls. It was said that unless their backbones were 
bent when they were little, boys would never make 

The mills created a greater demand for child labour, 
and the hardships and cruelty were intensified. Boys 
and girls were sent into the mills when they were five 
or six years old ; some were even younger. In those 
days, instead of the children being taught that the 
rooks said "Caw! Caw!" they were told that they called 
" Wark ! Wark ! " We know that fathers took their 
children out of bed before five o'clock on a dark winter's 
morning, and carried them on their shoulders to the 
mill. Clocks were a luxury, and many children, afraid 
of being late, were at the mill gates long before the 


opening hour, and the th^ed little mites would fall asleep 
until wakened by the rattle of the machinery. *They 
stayed at the mill until eight o'clock at night, and the 
engine did not stop for meal times. There was no half- 
time, no Saturday half-holiday, the machinery was not 
fenced, nor were there any factory inspectors. The 
overlookers beat the children unmercifully, hitting them 
to keep them awake, and the sleepy infants sometimes 
fell against the machinery and were maimed or killed. 
A spinner, in his evidence before the Commissioners in 
1833, said "I find it difficult to keep my piecers awake 
the last hour of a winter's evening ; have seen them fall 
asleep, and go on performing their work with their 
hands while they were asleep, after the billey had 
stopped, when their work was over ; I have stopped and 
looked at them for two minutes, going through the 
motions of piecening when they were fast asleep, when 
there was no work to do, and they were doing nothing." 
A tradition clings to Brookhouse Mill about a dark 
winter's morning when several factory children met 
their death. It was so dark and slippery that they 
must have fallen from the bridge into the stream, but 
all that was known was that their little bodies were 
found between the bridge and the stepping-stones. 

Large numbers of children were wanted for the new 
mills, and the mill-masters imported many of them from 
a distance. The Overseers of the Poor in the Midlands 
and the South of England were glad to get rid of their 
pauper children, who were often sent in batches to the 
mills of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Many of these boys 
and girls had lived in beautiful places similar to Gold- 
smith's "Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain," 
but the Enclosure Acts had made their homes into a 


"Deserted Village," and sunk their families into 
poverty. These poor mites, housed and fed by the mill- 
owners, were worked under horrible and cruel conditions 
that may be described as slavery. The worst period 
was from 1804 until 1819, when the Government was 
moved to make enquiries about the pauper mill children, 
because they were, in a sense, wards of the state. 

About the year 1830, Richard Oastler was moved by 
the condition of the children, and determined to get an 
Act of Parliament passed, fixing ten hours as the longest 
time for children to work. Oastler was steward for the 
Thornhill's of Fixby Hall, and there is a statue of him 
in Bradford. He was tall, of commanding appearance, 
a gifted orator, and he became the leader of a great 
movement in the West Riding in favour of shorter hours 
of labour. On April 24th, 1832, there w^as held a great 
meeting at York. Men, women, and children walked 
from all parts of the West Riding on a " Pilgrimage of 
Mercy." York Racecourse was crowded with the 
multitude of people, many of whom suffered greatly by 
their long march to York and home again in bad 
weather. On January 1st, 1834, an Act came into force 
by which no child under nine could work in a mill, and 
children under eleven were not to work more than 
forty-eight hours a week. Christmas Day and Good 
tFriday were to be holidays, and there were to be eight 
half-day holidays in the year, to be fixed by the mill- 
master. It was not until June, 1847, that the Ten 
Hours Bill became law, largely through the unselfish 
advocacy of John Fielden, M.P., of Todmorden, who 
though a large manufacturer, had worked for years to 
better the conditions of factory workers. 

The introduction of machinery threw a great many 


men out of work at the time, for each machine did the 
work of several men. Among the first men to suffer 
were the croppers who finished the cloths bj cutting the 
nap with the large cropping shears. As the machinery 
increased, the small workshops where the croppers 
worked found it harder to keep going, and one after 
another was forced to close. The croppers could not 
find work elsewhere, for at the time trade was very bad. 
England was fighting Napoleon, food was dear, and a 
large number of the people were starving. At length, 
some of the men growing desperate, formed a secret 
society to try to alter their condition by fair means or 
foul. These men became the followers of " General 
Ludd," and each took an oath that he would obey all 
commands, and keep absolute secrecy about the men 
who were in the movement and their p?ans. There 
never was a real man called "General Ludd," but all the 
orders were issued in the name of this fictitious leader. 
Hence the men were always known as Luddites. 

Near to Halifax Parish Church was the St. Crispin 
Inn. The old building was pulled down in 1844, and a 
new inn erected on the site which is now called " The 
Old Crispin." Some time in the spring of 1812, there 
was an important meetmg of the Halifax Luddites 
at the St. Crispin. The men came in, one or two 
at a time, at irregular intervals, so as to avoid the 
appearance of going to a meeting. At the foot of 
the stairs, and at the door of the club-room upstairs, 
sentinels were posted to see that no stranger entered. 
John Baines, a hatter, the oldest man in the room, 
presided over the meeting. A delegate from Notting- 
ham addressed the Halifax Luddites, and he said that 
in his part of the country they had collected thousands 


of guns, pistols, cind other weapons, and were preparing 
for a general uprising in May. He concluded by saying 
that some Nottingham men even advocated shooting the 
masters who owned the new mills. George Mellor, a 
Hucldersfield cropper, who became the ringleader in this 
district, welcomed the suggestion, and declared that the 
Luddites ought to attack Cartwright of Rawfald, and 
Horsfall of Marsden, two masters who were always 
threatening what they would do to the Luddites if they 
came to their mills. After some discussion, a coin was 
tossed up to decide which should be attacked first, and 
the choice fell on Cartwright. The Luddites talked 
about various plans, and finally decided to meet near 
the Dumb Steeple at Cooper Bridge at eleven o'clock on 
Saturday night, April 11th, 18 12. Guns and pistols 
were collected by small groups of armed and disguised 
men who went visiting lonely houses in the night time, 
compelling the inmates to deliver up their fire-arms. 

At the appointed time, the Luddites from Halifax, 
Huddersfield, the Spen Valley and other places, 
assembled in a field near the Dumb Steeple. Some of 
the men did not care for the desperate work, but having 
taken the oath, they feared to be killed as traitors if 
they neglected to turn up at the meeting place. It was 
about midnight when the expedition marched to the 
attack. Many of the Luddites wore masks, others had 
blackened their faces so that they could not be identified, 
and they all answered to numbers when the roll was 
called. Some had guns and pistols, while others carried 
large hammers, mauls, hatchets, or stout sticks. 

Kawfold Mill was not far away, and Samuel Hartley, 
a Halifax cropper who had at one time worked for 
Cartwright, acted as guide. Cartwright was expecting 


an attack, and he had about half-a-dozen soldiers and 
five or six trusted workmen, well armed, inside the mill, 
and he had barricaded the doors and staircases. The 
Luddites were expecting a contingent from Leeds, but 
not daring to wait any longer, they commenced the 
attack by shattering the mill windows with a shower 
of stones. They were met by a volley from the 
defenders, and the alarm bell was set clanging to call the 
cavalry billeted at Liversedge. Kepeated attempts were 
made to gain an entrance to the mill, but the strong 
doors resisted all efforts. The Luddites persisted until 
their ammunition was finished, but they knew they 
could not withstand the cavalry, whose arrival was 
expected at any moment. Mellor was obliged to call 
his men off, and the defeated Luddites fled. It was 
impossible to remove the wounded. Every man was 
anxious to escape and to hide himself, because of the 
search that was certain to be made. Hartley, the 
Halifax cropper, died the next day from the wound he 
had received. His funeral was attended by a multitude 
who looked upon him as a martyr for the cause. Booth, 
a Huddersfield man, had one leg shattered, and he also 
succumbed to his wounds. 

Before the end of the same month, on April 28th, 
Mr. Horsfall of Marsden was shot by George Mellor and 
a few accomplices, as he was returning home from 
Huddersfield. The authorities were aroused, and 

proceeded to end the Luddites' terrorism, and to punish 
those who had taken part in these attacks. Two police 
spies, M'Donald and Gossling came from Manchester on 
July 8th, 1812, to try to trap some of the Halifax 
Luddites. They were dressed as workmen, and 

pretended to be seeking employment in Halifax. They 


went to the St. Crispin Inn and found there a man 
named Charles Milnes, a Luddite, who was very 
talkative, and they soon drew from him many facts 
about the local Luddites. M'Donald and Gossling 
professed to be sympathetic towards the movement and 
anxious to enrol themselves as Luddites, and treated 
Milnes to so much drink that he told all they wanted 
to know. After it was dark, the three went to the 
house of John Baines, where they found the old man 
with two of his sons and other two men seated round 
the fire. Milnes introduced his new friends, and they 
took the Luddites' oath. M'Donald called several times 
after this at Baines's workshop to talk to the old man, 
and to notice who came to visit him. A few days after 
the spies left Halifax, soldiers surrounded Baines's shop, 
and the six men who had been present at the swearing- 
in ceremony were sent to prison to await their trial. 

The collecting of fire-arms still continued, for the 
Luddite leaders were planning a general rising through- 
out the North of P]ngland. The following episode, 
which took place locally, is typical of many such 
midnight raids. On the last Saturday night in August, 
1812, George Haigh, who lived at Copley Gate, heard a 
loud rapping at his door. He got up and went on to the 
landing, and heard some men calling out "Your arms! 
Your arms ! " Haigh said " What do you want ? " and 
one of the party answered " General Ludd, my master, 
has sent me for the arms you have." "I have nothing 
of the kind," rejoined Haigh, "for God's sake go home." 
The men began to fire and to make a terrible noise by 
banging the door. Haigh tried to pacify them again, 
but they insisted that he had two guns and four pistols. 
John Tillotson, the apprentice, said " Master, you had 


better give them up or they will shoot us." So he 
consented to give them a gun, and Tillotson took it to 
the door. When the apprentice opened the door, the 
Luddites ran round the corner of the house, but 
presently returned and came into the house. They 
asked for the ramrod and a pistol, and threatened to 
shoot Tillotson if he did not find them. When the 
pistol was delivered up, the Luddites told him to inform 
his master they would visit Haigh again, and shoot him 
if he did not sell his milk among his neighbours. 

A few of the Luddites turned traitor, and London 
detectives came into Yorkshire to discover the ring- 
leaders. By the end of the year, about a hundred 
suspected men were lodged in York Castle. The Assizes 
commenced early in the new year of 1813, and a terrible 
time it proved for this district, for most of the towns 
had some man among the prisoners. George Mellor 
and two others were hanged for the murder of Horsfall ; 
five Luddites were hanged for attacking Rawfold Mill ; 
three more who demanded arms at Copley Gate, and 
six other men for taking guns elsewhere, met the same 
fate. Old John Baines and the men who were present 
when the two police spies were sworn in, were all 
transported for seven years. Fourteen of the Luddites 
were hanged at York on one day, and a huge crowd 
gathered to witness the executions. It was a terrible 
climax. The full story of the outrages is most painful 
reading, but it gives us some little idea of the hard times 
of a hundred years ago. For everyone of those men who 
in despair followed " General Ludd," there must have 
been hundreds who suffered and died in silence. 

The failure of the Luddite . Biots and the severe 
punishments did nothing to ease the hardships of the 



people, and the Government and those in authority 
V were afraid there would be further risings. Working 
men began to think there would be no improvement in 
their conditions until Parliament was elected by the 
whole people, instead of by a favoured few. To support 
these views, a huge meeting of sixty to eighty thousand 
persons was held on August 16th, 1819, in St. Peter's 
Field, Manchester. Through some mis-management, 
cavalry were ordered to clear the ground, and half-a- 
dozen men were killed, and very many people maimed. 
This melee was called the Manchester Massacre, or the 
Battle of Peterloo — a name compounded from St. Peter's 
and Waterloo. Some men from Halifax district were 
present, and a Triangle man came home with a severe 
sword-cut on his shoulder. There was much excitement 
in Halifax that Monday night when the news came, and 
Miss Lister wrote "Great many people about to-night in 
the streets, men talking together in groups." Benjamin 
Wilson states that at Skircoat Green, the men went into 
mourning, and wore grey hats with weeds round them. 
On the Wednesday, August 18th, a meeting was held on 
Skircoat Moor, but the constable and a magistrate put in 
an appearance, and threatened to read the Riot Act. 
The principal speaker, a man dressed in black, mounted 
on a black horse, who had come to give particulars of the 
Manchester meeting, was afraid of proceeding with his 
speech. Another great meeting of the Reformers was 
held on Skircoat Moor on Monday, October 4th. The 
procession, with flags flying and bands of music, was 
formed in Horton Street, and three thousand people 
listened to the speeches from one o'clock until after four, 
on a very wet day. There was a panic once or twice 
because it was reported that the Yeomanry were going 
to charge the crowd. 


Miss Lister tells us that a warehouse at Wards End 
was made into a barracks, and that four companies of 
the 6th Foot were stationed there in anticipation of a 
rising. The outlook was serious for all classes, for while 
the poorer folks were short of work and food, the richer 
people were afraid that violence would be done to them 
or to their property. A meeting was held in the 
Sessions room near the Theatre Royal, to consider the 
formation of a Volunteer Cavalry Troop to defend the 
property owners. Many Volunteer Corps were raised at 
this time, not as a defence against a foreign foe, but to 
fight the people if there should be a rising. In 1826, 
there were riots in Lancashire and at Bradford, when 
crowds of hand-loom weavers, who were out of work, 
attempted to destroy the power looms. Dragoons came 
to Halifax in May, 1826, to protect the power-looms in 
the mills of Kershaw, Akroyd, and Peter Bold. 

The Beform Bill, which became law in 1832, gave 
Halifax two members of Parliament. Except for the 
few years under the Commonwealth, Halifax had never 
had a member. Before the Beform Act, the whole of 
the county of Yorkshire was one undivided constituency 
and returned four members. When the news came to 
Halifax, one of the largest bonfires ever seen was lighted, 
and the town was crammed with people. The earlier 
drafts of the bill proposed that the whole of the Parish 
should be the constituency, but the Act created a 
Parliamentary Borough of Halifax which included the 
township of Halifax, and the north-eastern side of the 
valley, from Southowram Bank Top to New Town in 
Haley Hill. The first election was held on December 
1 2th and 1 3th, 1832, and 492 voted out of a possible 
536 entitled to a vote. The two candidates in favour of 


the Reform Act were elected — Rawdon Briggs, a Halifax 
banker (242); and Charles Wood of Doncaster (235), who 
was son-in-law to the Premier, Earl Grey, and who 
afterwards became Lord Halifax. The unsuccessful men 
were Michael Stocks, a local man, a more advanced 
reformer (186); and the Hon. James Stuart Wortley 
(174), son of Lord Wharncliflfe, who was opposed to the 
Eeform Movement. 

Miss Lister was on the losing side, although she 
made a condition that all her tenants must vote as she 
directed, and as the Shibden Hall estates were large, 
Miss Lister reckoned on influencing fifty votes. She 
was very candid about the matter, and summed up the 
situation: — "The populace, not the property of our 
borough is represented, but this caimot last for ever." 
The voting was in public, and it was known how each 
man had voted. To possess a vote, a man had to 
occupy a house or some other property worth £10 a 
year, which meant a much bigger house than the same 
rental represents to-day. The population of Halifax 
township was over fifteen thousand, and besides there 
were the portions of Southowram and Northowram, yet 
there were only 536 voters. 

The Reform Act of 1832 did not satisfy the aspirations 
of the great body of men. It was but one step in the 
right direction, and it was thought that if the House of 
Commons could be further reformed, the grievances of 
the people might be remedied. The People's Charter 
therefore became the great hope of many working men. 
The Chartists demanded a vote for every man, whether 
he had property or not, and voting by ballot. They 
wanted a Parliamentary election every year, payment of 
members of Parliament, and each voting district to be 


equal in size. On Whit Monday, 1839, there was a 
great Chartist demonstration at Peep Green, near 
Hartsheadi which is said to have been the largest 
political meeting ever held in England. A procession, 
headed by a band of music, started from Halifax, 
meeting a Queensbury section at Hipperholme, and the 
Bradford Chartists on the hill-top above Bailiff Bridge. 
William Thornton of Skircoat Green opened the meeting 
with prayer, and Fergus O'Connor, the leader of the 
Chartists, putting his hand on Thornton's shoulder, said 
" Well done, Thornton, when we get . the People's 
Charter, I will see you are made the Archbishop of 
York." Soon afterwards, Thornton went to America, or 
he would have been imprisoned for taking part in these 
meetings. Some of the Chartists advised a general 
rising, and counselled the men to procure guns, pikes, or 
other weapons, for they held it to be one of the rights of 
an Englishman to possess his own weapon. 

General Charles Napier held the northern command, 
and it was his duty to prevent or to put down any 
rebellion. He was a very humane man, full of sympathy 
for the Chartists, for he felt it to be a hard thing that a 
good workman in full wages must starve. He was very 
anxious about the soldiers who had been sent to Halifax 
before he had taken the commmand. Napier reported 
that there were thirty-six dragoons among the ill- 
disposed populace of Halifax, with a man in a billet here 
and his horse there. He said that fifty resolute men 
would disarm them in ten minutes. He had information 
that such a plan had been discussed in the public-houses 
at Halifax, and that cheap copies of Maceroni's book on 
the use of the pike were in circulation. Napier worked 
hard to prevent a rising, and fortunately averted a 
civil war. 


William Milner, a Halifax grocer and general dealer, 
had Chartist sympathies. He set to work to provide 
working men with cheap editions of good books. The 
first work he printed was the pamphlet by John Fielden, 
M.P., entitled ''The Curse of the Factory System," 
1836. In 1837, Milner commenced the publication of 
his "Cottage Library," and for many years these books 
could claim to be the cheapest books in the world. 
Milner found that the ordinary booksellers would not 
take his cheap books, as they were used to dealing only 
in expensive volumes. So, like the Halifax cloth-makers 
of the sixteenth century, he tried the fairs and markets. 
In some of the markets, he sold pots along with his little 
books. He fitted caravans up, and sent his men all over 
the kingdom. Robertson NichoU in the far north of 
Scotland, Frankfort Moore in Belfast, and many other 
men who have become famous have testified to the good 
they received in their youth from Milner's cheap editions 
of the English poets. At one time, the Chartist news- 
paper "Northern Star," edited by Fergus O'Connor, 
was forbidden by the Government, and copies were 
destroyed if they were found. Milner arranged for a 
hearse containing a grim black cofiin to be driven from 
London to Halifax. The coffin did not hold the remains 
of some devoted Yorkshireman, but was full of copies of 
the proscribed newspaper. On its return journey to 
London, the hearse carried a few hundred volumes of 
Milner's cheap reprints as ballast. William Milner died 
in 1850, aged 47. 

Within three years of the Chartist disturbance, 
there was another rising which was called the Plug 
Riots. The workers left their spinning or weaving, 
stopped the mills, and marched from one town to 


another in Lancashire and Yorkshire, stopping all work. 
At steam mills, the boiler plugs were drawn to empty 
the boilers, and all the mill dams were emptied where 
the machinery was run by water-power. Councillor 
Joseph Greenwood of Hebden Bridge, in his boyhood, 
saw these plug drawers in August, 1842. The following 
is his account of the scenes: — 

"I well remember seeing the crowd coming along 
the turnpike after it had left Hebden Bridge ; it was a 
remarkably fine day; the sun shone in its full splendour. 
The broad white road with its green hedges, and flanked 
one side with high trees, was filled with a long, black, 
straggling line of people, who cheerfully went along, 
evidently possessed of an idea that they were doing 
something towards a betterment. A number of us boys 
had been sent down into the woods to gather black- 
berries, and the woods were then clad in deep green ; 
blackberries were plentiful, now they do not grow to 
maturity because of the smoke. The people went along 
over Fallingroyd Bridge towards Hawksclough. On 
reaching there, a local leader of the Chartist movement, 
Ben Rushton, stepped aside into a field, and led off with 
a speech. A number of those who were among the mass 
of the strikers, in going on their way, left the procession, 
w^ent into the dwellings and helped themselves to what- 
ever they could find in the way of food. Ben Bushton, 
I believe, was not one of these, nor were those that were 
with him. However, they were weary and thirsty, and 
before the speaking, a big milk can was obtained and 
filled with treacle beer, only the liquor had not been 
charged with yeast, nor had it had time to get fresh and 
tart. After the speaking the procession re-started and 
went on as before, and on to Halifax, where other 


contingents from Yorkshire had gathered. Attempts 
were made to join these, but for a time were prevented 
by the police. The streets became blocked, and it was 
said there were 25,000 women and men there. They 
were poorly clad, and many were without shoes and 
stockings, barefooted. The disorder became so violent 
that the Eiot Act was read, special constables sworn in, 
and the military called out. The women took up 
positions facing the police and the soldiers, and dared 
them to kill them. Many people were trampled under 
the horses' feet, and many people were injured." 

Another eye-witness's account says that on August 
15th, news came that thousands were marching from 
Bradford to stop the Halifax mills. Coming down New 
Bank, they were stopped just above Berry's Foundry by 
the special constables and soldiers, with bayonets fixed 
and swords drawn. The Biot Act was read, and the 
crowd told that they must not enter the town. The 
rioters got over the walls into the fields, and went 
through the fields on the top side of Northgate. The 
day ended with a large meeting on Skircoat Moor, where 
some of the men were arrested, and committed to 
Wakefield Prison. The prisoners were taken in a bus 
to Elland, the nearest railway station, guarded by an 
escort of horse soldiers. When this became known, 
thousands of people armed with stones, gathered at 
Salterhebble and Elland Wood Bottom, waiting for the 
soldiers' return. They came back over Exley, but rode 
into the crowd at Salterhebble. The cavalry started at 
full speed up Salterhebble Hill amid a shower of stones. 
One or two were knocked from their horses, and one 
soldier received such injuries that he died. The infantry 
came to meet the horse soldiers at Shaw Hill, and they 
all returned to Halifax. They next marched up Haley 


Hill to Akroyd's Shed, and firing into the mob, they 
wounded several and killed one man. Another man in 
King Street, opening his door to see what was the 
matter, was shot dead. 

John Bright and Richard Cobden, two Lancashire 
manufacturers, set to work to abate the prevalent distress, 
from another side. England was not growing sufficient 
corn to feed her own people, but foreign corn w^as not 
allowed to come into our ports unless a heavy duty was 
paid on it. Consequently corn was always at a high 
price. Bread and flour were dear, and the poorer people 
could not get sufficient to eat. In September, 1841, 
Mrs. Bright died, and Cobden visited Bright to condole 
with him. After a time, Cobden looked up and said 
" There are thousands of houses in England at this 
moment, where wives, mothers, and children are dying 
of hunger." The two men, then and there, vowed they 
would work until the Corn Laws were repealed. The 
movement was taken up enthusiastically by the manu- 
facturing towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire ; the corn 
laws were repealed, Free Trade was instituted, and the 
mills became very busy. The whole agitation had relied 
on argument and reason, and no hint of violence was 
ever mentioned. This in itself was a great forward step. 
Another noteworthy point was that the policy of 
England was, for the first time, framed by the industrial 
population of the North. 

"Turnpikes and Toll-bars," by C. Clegg. (Hx. Antqn. Soc. Trans., 1915). 
"The Carse of the Factory System," by J. Fielden, M.P. (1836). 
"The Town Labourer, 1760-1832." 
"The Skilled Labourer, 1760-1832." 

By J. L. & B. Hammond. 
"The Risings of the Luddites, Chartists, and Plug-drawers," by Frank Peel. 
"The Chartist Movement," by Mark Hovell. 

"Life and Opinions of General Sir C. J. Napier, Vol. II.," by Sir W. Napier. 
"William Milner of Halitax — A Pioneer in Cheap Literature," by H. E. 

Wroot. ("Bookman, 1897"— Also see " Hx. Guardian " Almanack, 1898). 
"Struggles of an Old Chartist," (1887) by Benj. Wilson of Salterhebble. 






THE people's park. 

In the early part of the nineteenth century 
Bradford took the place of Halifax as the centre 
of the West Riding worsted trade. This was partly 
due to the fact that Halifax manufacturers did 
not take readily to the factory system ; partly because 
of our nearness to Lancashire, there were more cotton 
than worsted mills in the parish ; and partly, because 
the hills hindered communication with the outside 
world. However, from about 1840, Halifax received a 
new impetus to growth from the two great firms of 
Akroyds and Crossleys. We have already seen how 
the Akroyds conducted their business before the days of 
the factories. They built a mill at Brookhouse, (now in 
ruins) run at first by a water-wheel, and later by steam. 
As their business grew, they found that Brookhouse was 
an out-of-the-way place for a big mill, so they came 
farther down the valley, and built gigantic places at 
Old Lane, Bowling Dyke, and in Haley Hill, with a 
huge warehouse and offices between Akroyd Place and 
Northgate. Akroyds developed into one of the largest 
worsted manufacturing firms in the kingdom, and 
specialised in damasks and other fancy fabrics. 

Crossleys built up their Dean Clough Mills from 
very small beginnings. John Crossley was a carpet 
weaver for Currie at Luddenden Foot, and he became 
manager of Job Lee's carpet works in the Lower George 
Yard about 1800. Four years later, Lee died very 


suddenly, and John Crossley went into partnership with 
two others to carry on the business. Not long after- 
wards, John Crossley, with another two partners, took a 
small mill at Dean Clough, and after twenty years 
trading there was £4,200 to divide among the three. 
The mill then became his sole property, and as his sons, 
John, Joseph, and Francis grew up, he took them into 
partnership. John Grossiey, senior, died in 1837, before 
the works had become famous. About this time, 
machine looms were being introduced for weaving, and 
the younger Crossley s turned their attention to the 
invention of a power-loom that would weave carpets, 
and at length they succeeded in making a practical 
loom. After this. Dean Clough Mills increased at a 
rapid rate. 

One of the problems that confronted these manu- 
facturers was to get the new railways to Halifax. The 
first line to come near the town was the Manchester 
and Leeds Railway. Its route was down the Calder 
Valley, and Leeds was reached through Normanton. 
So that in 1842, passengers from Manchester had to 
alight at Sowerby Bridge, and take an omnibus to 
Halifax ; Brighouse was the nearest station to Bradford, 
and Cooper Bridge was the station for Huddersfield. 
In July, 1844, the branch line from North Dean to 
Halifax was opened, and the first locomotive steamed 
into the town. The station was at Shaw Syke and it 
was a terminus, for a few more years elapsed before the 
line was made to Bradford. It was not until August 
1st, 1854, that the line to Leeds, via Bowling, was 
completed. The Ovenden Railway to Queensbury and 
Keighley, was only finished in 1879. The early railways 
were made in a piece-meal fashion, as the turnpike roads 


had been, and not with a broad outlook. The Great 
Northern and Midland Companies were jealous rivals, 
and spent much of their energies in opposing each 
other's schemes. Both Crossleys and Akroyds were 
keenly interested in railway development, for Halifax 
was handicapped because of its indifferent railway 

The town grew tremendously during the first half 
of the nineteenth century. At the beginning of the 
century, the houses and shops on Northgate extended 
no farther than Northgate End Chapel. Northgate 
Hotel, when it was converted from a residence into an 
inn, was said to be too far out of the town to' succeed. 
The Baptist Chapel at the bottom of Pellon Lane was 
called '*Top o' t' Town Chapel." King Cross Lane, 
Hopwood Lane, Gibbet Lane, and the other main roads 
of the upper part of Halifax were really lanes with fields 
on either hand, though they do not look in the least like 
lanes to-day. James Bolton, a famous botanist, who 
lived at Stannary, 7iear Halifax at the end of the 
eighteenth century, collected ferns and fungi about Lee 
Bridge, in the woods between Birks Hall and Pellon 
Lane, and in Cross Fields. This gives some idea how 
different a place Halifax was from the town we know, 
for there were gardens and fields behind the Crown 
Street shops, and between the Parish Church and the 
brook. Some new groups of houses were built in the 
higher part of the township, and named after famous 
victories of the time — Trafalgar, Dunkirk, and Gibraltar. 
As Akroyds and Crossleys gradually filled the valley 
above North Bridge with big mills, and as Shaw Lodge 
Mills and others were erected, more houses were required 
for the workpeople. Many dwellings were built on the 


other side of the stream, at Lee Bank, Haley Hill, 
Southowram Bank, and Caddy Field. Edward Akroyd 
said in 1847, that Halifax had become like a growing 
lad, thrusting his arms beyond his sleeves, and his legs 
out of his trousers, putting out an arm at Haley Hill, 
and a leg at Caddy Field. The land near North Bridge 
was a very convenient site for dwellings for the work- 
people. Such a plot of land, divided into gardens, and 
known as "The Park" was sold by auction in 1808. 
On it were erected rows of houses which still bear the 
names of Park Street and Grove Street. Mount 
Pleasant, adjacent to Dean Clough, was opened out 
and at first called Go Ahead. Its streets are named 
after the Corn Law Repeal heroes — Bright, Cobden, 
Fitzwilliam, Wilson, etc. West Hill Park, formerly 
famed for foot-races, was developed as a model estate. 
Its terraces were named Cromwell, Milton, Hampden, 
because these seventeenth century heroes were favourites 
of the men who built these houses. Edward Akroyd 
devoted much thought and money to the laying out of a 
"garden city" near Boothtown, which was afterwards 
known as Akroydon. The names of the streets reveal 
his interest in the great cathedrals — Chester, York, 
Bipon, Beverley, Salisbury. The houses are more 
ornamental than ordinary ones ; gardens were provided 
and a little park. At the bottom end of the town, the 
ground was overcrowded with small, miserable houses, a 
large proportion of which were cleared away before the 
end of the century. 

There is a little feature about the houses of fifty or 
more years ago that is worth noticing. Near to the 
house door, close to the ground, is a small recess where 
there was once a scraper. In most cases, the iron bar 



has rusted away, and a little useless hollow remains. 
They can be seen for example in Lister Lane, Crossley 
Terrace, or Westgate. When the houses were built, 
everyone had to scrape the thick mud oft' his boots 
before he entered, because the streets were very filthy, 
as they were un-paved and seldom swept. Even so late 
as 1872, the newspapers recording the funeral of Sir 
Francis Crossley, mention the fact that many of the 


Fig. 89.— Door Scraper. 


elderly gentlemen could not walk in the procession, 
because of the dirty condition of the roads between the 
town and the General Cemetery. We can scarcely 
imagine the unhealthy and insanitary condition of the 
town in the forties. To remedy the bad state of affairs, 
the borough was incorporated in 1848, and the Town 
Council elected by the ratepayers sought powers to 
better the sanitation and the water supply, and to clean 
the streets. It was a heavy task. There was very 
much disease, and a terribly high death-rate. Fevers 


often raged in the houses at the bottom end of the 
town, and many lives were lost that ought to have 
been saved. The new Municipal Borough of Halifax 
included the old township of Halifax, and those small 
portions of Northowram and Southowram that were in 
the Parliamentary Borough. 

Water was so scarce that one alderman said that 
people told him they had to steal it. About eight 
hundred people depended on a dropping- well near Berry 
Lane. This water came from a spring in the cellar of 
the Cat in the Window Inn, about seven yards from the 
Parish Church graveyard, and thence flowed, close to a 
main sewer, to the dropping place by the bridge. 
Sewage and the washings of barrels often soaked into 
the well. Many people had to go half-a-mile for water, 
and some declared they were not able to get their 
breakfast until after mid-day for want of water. Others 
were up at two o'clock in the morning to be first at the 
well, and women often wasted three and four hours a 
day fetching water. In 1848, the Victoria Reservoir in 
Gibbet Lane was made to find work for a large number 
of men who were thrown out of employment by the new 
textile machinery. They were paid a shilling a day for 
six hours work. As the town grew, the Corporation 
had to look farther afield for the water supply. 
Fortunately the hills to the north and west of Halifax 
are covered with peat moors, which act like enormous 
sponges in retaining a considerable portion of the rain- 
fall that the westerly wind brings over. The reservoirs 
at Ogden, Widdop, Walshaw Dean, Fly Flatts, etc., 
provide us with a bountiful supply of good water. 
When the Corporation was formed, the sewers of the 
town were disgraceful. Behind Cheaypside, for instance, 



there was an open drain. In rainy weather, a stream 
flowed down and the houses emptied all their filth and 
rubbish into the stream. The drains that were made 
were either cut through the solid rock, or else made 
square and lined with stones. In either case, the 
sewage leaked through the cracks and oozed up in all 
kinds of places. A heavy thunderstorm choked the 

Fig. 90.— Drinking Trough for Man or Beast. 
(The old method of water supply.) 

drains and filled cellars and houses with a flood of 
sewage. The Corporation made a new system of drains 
and sewers, and though it was an expensive undertaking, 
it made the town a much healthier place to live in. 
Gradually the streets were paved, foot-paths were made, 
the roads drained, swept, and kept sweet and clean. 
The health of the people is the first consideration of the 


Corporation, but many other duties have been added to 
its programme. Our Aldermen and Councillors have 
charge of the markets and slaughter-houses, and keep 
watch over the purity of our food. They organise the 
police force, keep the parks in order, and provide new 
open spaces when required. They are responsible for 
the education of our boys and girls, and for the upkeep 
of libraries and museums. They run the electric cars, 
and do many more useful things. The Town Council is 
simply a committee elected to do work for the whole of 
the people, and as there are so many activities that can 
be better managed if we all work together, the work of 
the Council is likely to grow vaster in the future. 

We have considered how the Crossleys and Akroyds 
laid the foundations of their businesses and their 
fortunes, and how much they contributed to the growth 
of modern Halifax. They were the leaders in local 
public life while Halifax was setting its house in order, 
and as Members of Parliament, they voiced the aspira- 
tions of the North in the reformed House of Commons. 
Beyond all this, their princely gifts to their native town 
have made the names, Akroyd and Crossley, the 
brightest in the story of the nineteenth century, nay! of 
many centuries. Edward Akroyd, John, Joseph, and 
Francis Crossley, were four men who have inscribed 
their names in beautiful characters across the map of 
Halifax, and we cannot walk far without coming across 
some monument of their planning and generosity. The 
Orphanage on Savile Park, the Almshouses on Arden 
Koad and on Margaret Street, were erected and endowed 
by the Crossley brothers. Sir Francis Crossley gave 
the People's Park and Halifax was one of the earliest, 
among the large towns, to have such a j)ublic park. 



The Crossleys were the principal contributors to the 
building of the handsome Square Congregational Church. 
Edward Akroyd spent a fortune on All Souls' Church, 
which is one of the finest modern gothic churches^ and is 
considered the masterpiece of the famous architect, Sir 
Gilbert Scott. Akroyd planned Akroydon as a model 
suburb, and built Copley as a model village. Akroydon 
and Copley had their flower shows, and gardening 
(which was not a common art in Halifax) was 
encouraged. Edward Akroyd was keenly interested in 
education and the Working Men's College at Haley 
Hill, and the various classes in connection with it 
provided an education that was a blessing to many 
Halifax men. Edward Akroyd was an enthusiastic 
supporter of the Volunteers, and he became colonel of 
the local battalion, hence he is usually referred to as 
Colonel Akroyd. He was also a pioneer in savings 
banks, and the Yorkshire Penny Bank was founded 
years before the government instituted the Post Office 
Savings Bank. His inspiration for that piece of work 
came from a sermon he heard by Charles Kingsley (the 
author of "Westward Ho!" "Alton Locke," etc.) 
There is a statue of Sir Francis Crossley in the 
People's Park, and one of Colonel Akroyd close to All 
Souls' Church. Our libraries and museums are housed 
in mansions that were once the homes of these men, and 
their gardens are now our parks. 

The Borough of Halifax gradually extended its area, 
and in 1864 the Town Council contemplated pushing the 
boundary line beyond the little valley that runs from 
Haugh Shaw to Shaw Syke. The township of Skircoat 
was interested about the future of Skircoat Moor, and the 
Freeholders elected a committee to watch their interests. 


These landowners had the right to use the common for 
pasturing their cattle, sheep, or donkeys, and it was 
contended that the lord of the manor could not dispose 
of the moor without their consent. Skircoat Moor has 
survived as an unenclosed common, and somehow 
escaped the various methods of enclosure that we have 
noted in this story. Some members of the Corporation 
wished to plant trees, to make walks and other alter- 
ations, while some went so far as to suggest building a 
wall around the moor. However, the Freeholders of 
Skircoat stood out against these alterations, and even 
went to law before the Corporation would submit that 
Skircoat Moor should remain unenclosed for the benefit 
of the pubhc for ever. 

The Freeholders received the nominal sum of £201 
for their rights. After they had paid their solicitor's 
costs the balance was put into the bank, and in 1889 
this balance, which with interest had become £264 10s. 2d., 
was given to the building fund of the new Infirmary. 
Capt. Henry Savile, of Rufibrd Abbey, accepted the 
nominal sum of £100 for his rights, and as a memorial 
of his great generosity, Skircoat Moor was named Savile 
Park. It was estimated that the Moor was then 
worth £40,000. But its monetary value is not every- 
thing ; as a recreation ground and an open space, Savile 
Park is a priceless possession of the town. Captain 
Savile made one condition, or expressed the wish, that 
the Council would do all in its power to abate the smoke 
nuisance. We still have a smoke-polluted atmosphere, 
though older people tell us it was worse forty or fifty 
years ago. 

The mention of smoke introduces us to J. E. 
Wainhouse, an enthusiastic member of the Skircoat 


Freeholders committee, who wrote many letters 
explaming their ancient right to the commons. His 
monument is the Octagon Tower, and as it overlooks 
the Moor, it is only fitting that we should notice the 
Tower and its builder. Wainhouse owned the Washer 
Lane Dyeworks, and in order to abate the smoke 
nuisance he determined to erect a tall chimney on the 
hill-side above Washer Lane. He had a passion for 
good architecture, and he commissioned his architect to 
build him a beautiful mill chimney, for the existing tall 
chimney stacks were considered to be the ugliest things 
ever built. The result was a chimney and tower 
combined. In the centre is the chimney flue, and 
around the flue a spiral staircase within the octagon 
tower leads up to a handsome balcony, while the whole 
is crowned by an elaborate dome. Some authorities 
have deemed it to be the finest piece of architecture in 
Halifax. It is certainly a striking landmark. The 
Tower was also nicknamed " Wainhouse's Folly " by 
people who could not appreciate a thing of beauty, but 
who thought it a waste of money. Wainhouse sold the 
dyeworks before his tower was completed, and so the 
Octagon Tower was never used as a chimney. He also 
built some handsome houses about Washer Lane, and 
embellished rows of ordinary cottages with fine porches, 
chimneys, and railings. Wainhouse Terrace, tucked out 
of sight between the Burnley and Rochdale Roads, is a 
remarkable row. They are only "gallery" houses, but 
the gallery is of such architectural character that it 
would grace any university building. 

Though smoke has spoiled much of our country-side, 
and modern industry made ugly blots upon it, we are 
never very far from wild and unspoiled hills. Halifax 



is the most westerly of the great West Riding towns, 
and further to the west are the fine moors and beautiful 
doughs of the Pennines. Let me tell you of two men — 
fcwo artists — who have acknowledged the debt they 
owed to the moorlands of Halifax Parish. Frederic 
Shields, who was born very poor, had a hard struggle to 
become a painter. His earliest encouragement came 
when Stott, an engraver in Swine Market, offered him a 
post at fifty shillings a week. Shields only stayed in 
Halifax about a year (1856), lodging at No. 9, Brunswick 
Street. Shields was a very early riser, and took long 
walks to make sketches, before he went to . his day's 
work. His own tribute to our hills is: — 

*'It made me free of the invigorating air of the 
Yorkshire moors, which greatly recruited my enfeebled 
health during a year's sojourn. Shut up hereunto in the 
narrowness of big cities, I recall the dancing delight 
excited in my heart by the first sight of wide-spread 
hill and dale from the crest of a moorland rise ! " 

In the same year, Philip Gilbert Hamerton, who 
became a famous art critic, was living within our parish. 
Hamerton was then twenty-two years old, a year 
younger than Shields, but he was better oif than Shields 
and had a comfortable home near Burnley. In order to 
study rocks and heather, he camped near VViddop in 
1856, and has written about his experiences in a book 
entitled "The Painter's Camp," and also in his Auto- 
biography. Here again we are fortunate in having 
Hamerton's own words about Widdop moors: — 

"That month of solitude on the wild hills was a 
singularly happy time, so happy that it is not easy, 
without some reflection, to account for such a degree of 
felicity. I was young, and the brisk mountain air 


exhilarated me. I walked out every day on the 
heather, which I loved as if my father and mother had 
been a brace of grouse .... how is it possible to feel 
otherwise than cheerful when you have leagues of 
fragrant heather all around you, and blue Yorkshire 
hills on the high and far horizon? ... A noteworthy effect 
of the months on the moors, was that on returning to 
Hollins, which was situated amongst trim green pastures 
and plantations, everything seemed so astonishingly 
artificial. It came with the force of a discovery. From 
that day to this, the natural and the artificial in land- 
scape have been for me as clearly distinguished as a 
wild boar from a domestic pig. My strong preference 
was, and still is, for wild nature." 

In that same year, 1856, the People's Park was laid 
out. The idea of such a park had come to Sir Francis 
Crossley while on an American tour. Being entranced 
with a magnificent sunset vi'ew near Mount Washington, 
his thoughts of gratitude took this form: — "It is true 
thou canst not bring the many thousands thou has left 
in thy native country to see this, beautiful scenery, but 
thou canst take this to them. It is possible so to 
arrange art and nature that they shall be within the 
walk of every working man in Halifax ; that he shall go 
to take his stroll there after he has done his hard day's 
toil, and be able to get home again without being tired." 
There is no hint here, of the genuine mountain scenery 
that lies within a few miles of Halifax, nor any feeling 
of the difference between artificial and natural landscape, 
that Shields and Hamerton knew. Seventy years ago, 
the working-man had to toil so hard, and had such little 
leisure, not even half-holiday on Saturday, that he had 
not the opportunity to roam over the moors. * Trains 


and trams enable us to reach easily the uttermost 
recesses of our hills. We can sing with Emily Bronte, 
the words she wrote at Law Hill, Southowram: — 

** Awaken, o'er all my dear moorland, 
West- wind, in thy glory and pride ; 
Oh ! call me from valley and lowland, 
To walk by the hill-torrent's side." 

I do hope that this little book will help you to love 
your own country more, remembering these words of a 
good man: — *' For the England that I love is not merely 
the England of noble towns and the fair country-side, 
but the England of the spirit, the foremost of all 
countries in which a man may enjoy the uses of. his soul." 

"Fortunes made in Business," Vol. III. — "The Crossleys of Halifax." 

"Report on the Sanitary Condition of Halifax," by W. Ranger. 
(April 16th, 1851). 

" History of Skircoat Moor and Savile Park," (1908) by C. T. Rhodes. 

"Toilers in Art, Chap. VII.— Frederic Shields, an Autobiography." 

" The Life and Lettersof Frederic Shields," (1912). 

Edited by Ernestine Mills. 
" The Painter's Camp," by P. G. Hamerton. 

"Philip Gilbert Hamerton." 

An Autobiography and a Memoir by his wife, (1897). 


Agriculture, i8, 87, 207-8, 233. 

Ainley Wood, 42. 

Aire Gap, 161. 

Aire, River, 221. 

Akroyd, 19, 48, 49, 239, 251. 257, 

258. 265. 
Akroyd, Edward, 261. 
Akroyd, James, 201, 240. 
Akroyd, Jonathan, 201, 204-5. 
Akroydon, 261. 
Akroyd Place, 258. 
Alice of the Croft, 25, 66. 
All Souls' Church, 266. 
Allan Fold, Warley Road, 129. 
Allen, Isaac, 168. 
Almondbury, 102. 
Almshouses, 134, 135, 265. 
Alte, Mr., 153. 

Ambler : " Manor Houses of York- 
shire," 125. 
Ambler Thorn : Toll Bar, 225. 
Architecture : All Souls' Church, 

Architecture : 1 7th Century Houses, 

1 13-136. 
Architecture : Eighteenth Century, 

Architecture : Timber Houses, .57. 
Architecture : Wainhouse's Tower, 

Architecture, See also under Parish 

Arkwright of Preston, 236. 
Armada, 102-3, io5- 
Ashday, Southowram, 16. 
Ashday, William of, 27. 
Ashwell. Agnes, 26. 
Ashworth, Cornelius, 204-8. 
Aske, Richard, 86. 
Aske, Robert, 97-8. 
Austwick, 204. 

Back Hall, Siddal, 16, 1 19-120, 

Bailey Hall, 222, 224. 
Bailiff Bridge, 148, 253. 

Baines, John, 245, 248, 249. 
Bairstow, 56, 139. 
Ball Green, Sowerby, 128. 
Bank, Post Office Savings, 266. 
Bank, Yorkshire Penny, 266. 
Bankfield Museum. 53, 124, 127, 

152, 189, 204, 211. 239, 266. 
Bank House, Salterhebble, 134, 

Barkisland, 17, 123. 
Barkisland Hall, 118, 121, 163. 
Barraclough, 139. 
Barrowclough Lane, 54, 56. 
Bateson, Richard, 48. 
Baths at Lilly Bridge, 209. 
Batley, 144. 
Baume, Isaac, 142. 
Beacon, 53, 56, 140. 
Beacon Hill, 16, 102, 148, 195, 206. 

Beacon Hill Road, 53. 
Beaumont, Sir Robert, 39. 40. 4i» 

Beaumont Town, 220. 
Becket, Thomas a, 34. 
Bell House, 190, 196. 
Belle Vue, 266. 
Bentley, Anthony, 138. 
Bentley, Eli, 172. 
Bentley, Jeremy, 165. 
Bentley, Lawrence, Constable, 72. 
Bentley, Samuel, Well Head, 165. 
Bingley, 200. 
Binns, 139. 

Binns Hole Clough, 159. 
Bin Royd, Norland, 117, 123, 124. 
Bird-holme, 208. 
Birks Hall, 16, 260. 
Birks : Tree Cutting, 72. 
Black Death, 44-46. 
Blackledge, 17, 76, 86. 
Blackpool, 231. 
Blackshaw Head, 219, 227. 
Blackstone Edge, 102, 149. 153-4. 

179, 227. 
Blackwell Hall, Halifax, 177. 



Blackwell Hall, London, 177. 
Blackwood, Thomas of Blackwood 

House, 138. 
Blaithroyd, 16. 
Blake, Admiral, 162. 
"" Blind Jack," roadmaker, 228-9. 
Bloody Field, 152, 158. 
Bluecoat School, 135. 
Boat Horse versus Pack Horses, 223. 
Bois, John, 109. 
Bold, Peter, 239, 251, 
Boiling Hall, 96. 
Bolton, James, 260. 
Bolton, Lancashire, 142. 
Books, Cheap, 254. 
Books, Demand for, 229. 
Books, Rare and Beautiful, 213. 
Booth, Huddersfield Luddite, 247. 
Booths, William of the, 25. 
Boothtown, 129, 165, 220. 
Borough : Grant of incorporation 

refused, 165. 
Borough Incorporation, 262. 
Borough, Extension of, 1864, 266. 
Boroughbridge, 229. 
Bottom, Richard of, 48. 
Boulsworth Hill, 207. 
Boundaries of Parliamentary 

Borough of 1832, 251. 
Bowling, 259. 
Bowling Dyke, 240, 258. 
Boyes, John, 47. 
Boyes, Margaret, 86. 
Brackenbed, 153. 
Bradford, 72, 81, 82, 102, 136, 148- 

151, 161, 200, 201, 221, 225, 

231-2, 237, 239, 244, 253, 

Bradford Church, 45. 
Bradford Road, Old, 36. 
Bradley, Thomas, 200. 
Bradshaw, 160. 
Bradshaw, Colonel. 154-6. 
Brandy Hole, Greetland, 232. 
Brearcliffe, Edmund, 164. 
Brearcliffe, John, 150, 152, 164- 

Brearcliffe Manuscript, 108. 
Brearley, 15. 
Brearley Hall, 170. 

Brereton Hall, 40. 

Brick Buildings in Eighteenth 

Century, 209. 
Bridges and Roads, 11, 85, 86, 186, 

226-32, 257. 
Brigg, Abraham, 138. 
Briggs, Henry, 1 09-1 11, 113. 
Briggs, Rawdon, 252. 
Brighouse, 26, 96, 218, 224, 259. 
Brighouse Bridge, 85. 
Brighouse, Tourn at, 40. 
Bright, John, 257. 
" Britannia," Camden's, iii. 
Broadbent, James, 191, 193-4. 
Broadbottom, Mytholmro^^d, 125. 
Broadley, Margaret, 86. 
Broadley, Matthew, 163. 
Bronte, Emily, 208, 272. 
Brook, Bridget, 174. 
Brookfoot, 40. 

Brookhouse, 201, 240, 243, 258. 
Brookroyd, 19. 
Brooksbank, Gilbert, 96. 
Brow Lane, 56. 
Brown, Sir Thomas, 136, 137. 
Browning, Mrs., "The Cry of the 

Children ", 241. 
Brunswick Street : home of Shields, 

Buckstones, 23. 
Bull Close Lane, 193. 
Burke, Edmund, 194. 
Burnley, 40, 71, 153, 159, 200, 227. 
Bury, 153. 

Caddy Field, 261. 

Calder, 16, 39, 154, 222-3, 225. 

Calder Valley, 42, 155-6, 197, 218, 

240, 259. 
Calder Valley, War Map of, 157. 
Calico Hall : Clare Hall, 236. 
Cambridge, 80, 174. 
Camden, William, in. 
Canals, 215-225. 
Canterbury : Tillotson Archbishop 

of, 175- 
Carlyle, Thomas, 162. 
Carr, John, of York, Architect, 210, 
Carriers, 231. 
Carter, John, Stock List, 82, 83. 



Cartwright of Rawfold, 246. 

Cartwright, Rev. Edmund, 239. 

Castle Hill, Almondbury, 102. 

Cat in the Window Inn : Spring in, 

Cawthorne, 42. 

Caygill, John, 199. 

Chained Book, tio. 

Champvent. Wilham de, 35. 

Chapels of the Parish, 84, 85. 

Chapeltown, 220. 

Charities, 134-6, 164, 265-6. 

Charles I, 137-163. 

Charlestown, Halifax, 16, 220. 

Charlestown, Hebden Bridge, 22c 

Chartists, 252-7. 

Chats worth, 210. 

Cheapside, Open drain in, 263-4. 

Child Labour in Factories, 242-3. 

Christ's Hospital 177. 

Church, Gifts to, 84. 

" City, The " : Orange Street and 
Wheatley, 220. 

Civil War, Halifax and, 137-163. 

Civil Wars, Halifax escapes fright- 
fulness of, II. 

Clapham, Captain, 158. 

Clare Hall, 211, 236. 

Claremount, 220. 

Clark Bridge, 53. 

Clay, John of Clay House, 138. 

Clay House, Greetland, 123. 

Clay, Robert, Vicar of Halifax, 139. 

Clayton, Thomas, 191. 

Clegg Cliff, 56. 

Cliff e Hill. LightcUffe, 224. 

Cliff, Thomas, 48. 

Clifford, Lady Anne 131, 133. 

Clitheroe, 71. 

Closes, Origin of Term, 19. 

Clothes, 86. 

Cloth Hall at Hall End, 177. 

Cloth Trade, 42-44, 79, 80, 112-113, 

Clothiers, West Riding. 185. 
Coaches, Stage, 231-2. 
Coal Mining, 79, 183, 184, 185. 224 
Coal Pits, Children in, 242. 
Coat-of-Arms, Halifax, 21, 33. 
Cobden, Richard, 257. 

Cock Fights, 174. 

Cock Hill, Plague at, 160. 

Cockroft, John, 196. 

Coiners, Cragg Vale, 189-197. 

Colbeck, Samuel, 170. 

Colden, 154. 

Colet, Dr. John, 91. 

Coley, 84, loi, 135, 140, 168, 172. 

Coley Chapel, 84, 85, 142, 161. 

Coley Hall, 28, 163. 

Colne, 151, 153, 159. 197, 200. 

Colne Grammar School, 174. 

Combing, Hand, 203-5. 

Commons, 233, 267. 

Commonwealth Window in Parish 

Church, 167. 
Cooper Bridge, 259. 
Copley Gate, 235, 248, 249. 
Copley Hall, 86. 
Corn Laws, 257. 
Corn Market, 60, 206, 225. 
Corn Marts, 223-4. 
Corn Mills, 23, 78. 
" Cottage Library ", 254. 
Cotton Trade, 236. 
Court Rolls, 26, 185. 
Cousin Lane, Illingworth, 235. 
Crabtree, John, 86. 
Cragg Vale, 155, 218. 
Craven, 204. 

Craven, Spinning in, 237. 
Crimsworth, 198. 
Cripplegate, 59. 
Crottonstall (?), 21. 
Cromwell, Oliver, loo-i, 144, 161-2, 

Cromwell, Thomas, 99. 
Cromwell Bottom, 40, 41, 74. 
Croppers, 246. 

Crosland Hall, Huddersfield, 39, 40. 
Cross Fields, 260. 
Cross Inn, 174. 
Cross Pipes, Inn, 191. 
Cross-Stone, Chapel, 84, 144. 
Cross, the. Old Market, 197. 
Crossley, Richard of, 25. 
Crossleys, Dean Clough, 258, 259, 

Crossley Terrace, 262. 
Crow Hill, Sowerby, 218. 



Crow Nest, Lightcliffe, 224. 

Crowther, George, 100. 

Culling worth, 200. 

" Curse of Factory System," 254 

Cusworth, John, 170. 

" Cut " : Canal, 222. 

Daisy Bank, Shibden, 59. 

Dark Lane, 54. 

Dean, John, 52. 

Dean Clough Mills, 258-9, 261. 

Deerplay, Mill Bank, 58. 

Defoe, Daniel, 80, 178, 185, 188. 

Deniield : Dean Field, Wheatley, 

Deloney, Thomas, 28. 
Denton Hall, 210. 
Denton, Richard, 140. 
Dewsbury, Saxon Parish of, 32. 
Dighton, William, 190-5, 206. 
Disendowment of Parish Church, 

Dodge, Dodge-holme, 208, 224. 
Dolphin Holme, Lancaster, 237. 
Domesday Book, local entries in, 

21, 22. 
Doncaster, 161. 
Door Scraper, 262. 
Drake, John of Horley Green, 138. 
Drake, Nathan, of Godley, 163, 
Drinking Trough, 264. 
Dropping Well, 263. 
Dublin, Archbishop of, 91. 
Duds : Cloth, 80. 
" Duke of York " : Isaac Hartley, 

Coiner, 190-4. 
Dumb Mill, Hipperholme, 54. 
Dumb Steeple, Cooper Bridge, 246. 
Dunbar, Battle of, 162. 
Dunkirk, 260. 
Dunsop Bridge, 204. 
Durham, 96. 
Durker Green, 170. 
Dyshbyndesherde, 76. 

East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley, 

130, 133 
Eddy stone Lighthouse, 221. 
Eden, Major, 158, 159. 
Edmondson, Thomas, 237. 

Education, 266. 

" Edwards of Halifax," 211-15. 

Election, Parliamentary, 1832, 251. 

Elizabeth, Queen, 109. 

Elland, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 46, 48, 

52, 84, 118, 140, 165, 233, 256. 
Elland Bridge, 86. 
Elland Chapel, 37, 116, 
Elland Feud, 38-42. 
Elland Hall, 16, 41. 
Elland Mill, 41. 

Elland : New Hall, 42, 123, 124. 
Elland Park Wood, 16, 186. 
Elland, Sir John, 38-42. 
Elland Wood Bottotn, 256, 
Enclosure Acts, 233-5, 267. 
Erringden, 17, 22. 
Ewood, loi, 152, 198. 
Exley, 16, 256. 
Exley of Exley Hall, 27, 38, 40. 

Factory System, 241-3. 

Fair, Halifax, origin of, 33. 

Fairs, 79, 80, 254. 

Fairfax, 142-159, 167. 

Fallingroyd Bridge, 255. 

Farming, 18, 87, 207-8, 233. 

Farnley Hall, 210. 

Farrar, Captain, 147, 158-9. 

Farrar, Henry, 80. 

Farrar of Ewood, 152, 165, 173. 

Favour, Dr. John, 105-7, 113, 140, 

Fawcett, General, 186-188. 
Fielding, John, M.P., 170, 244, 254. 
Field House, Shibden, 28. 
Field House, Sowerby, 211. 
Finchenden, William of, 45. 
Fines and Punishments, 45, 261. 
First Bishop's War, Halifax and, 

Five Mile Act, 173. 
Fixby, 17, 56. 

Ferrar, Bishop Robert, 101-2. 
Feslei (Halifax), 21. 
Flamborough Head, 105. 
Flanders, 81. 
Flemings, 42-4, 52. 
Flodden, 96. 
Fly Flatts Reservoir, 263. 



Fly Shuttle, Kay's, 238. 

Folds, 194. 

Fold, the, Mixenden, 124. 

Footpath, Unlawful stoppage of, 25. 

Forbes, Major, 144, 147-8. 

Foster, John, 232, 233, 236. 

Foulmouth, Roger, 25. 

Fourness, Joseph, Boothtown, 165, 

Franchise of 1832, 251. 
Frauncays, John, 47. 
Free School Lane, 107. 
Free Trade, 257. 
Fuller, Matilda, 26. 
Fuller, Roger the, 43. 
Fulling, 23, 52, 78. 
Fulneck, 198. 
Furness, 41. 
Furniture, 86. 

" Garden City " : Akroydon, 261. 
Gardiner, Professor, 141. 
Gaylington, Thomas, 44. 
Geldhird, William the, 25. 
German House, Lightcliffe, 198. 
Gibbet Lane, 260. 
Gibbet, Last Trial, 168-172. 
Gibbet Law, 28, 29, 30, 159, 168- 

Gibson, Isaac, 170. 
Gibson, John, 47. 
Gibson Mill, 219. 
Gibraltar, 260. 
Gifford, Major-General, 147. 
Gilds, 79-80. 
Gillet, John, 174. 
Gin Horse at Shibden, 185. 
Gledcliff, 56. 
Gledhill, John. 121. 
Gledhill, Richard, 163. 
Gloucester, 82. 
" Go Ahead ", 261. 
Godley, 163. 
Godley Road, 229. 
Goldsmith, Oliver " Deserted 

Village ", 243-4. 
Gomersai, 148, 174. 
Good-greave, 177. 
Gordon, Dr. A., 175, 
Gossling, Police Spy, 247. 

Grave, John the, 76. 
Greenwood, 25, 139. 
Greenwood, Joseph, 255. 
Greenwood, Michael, 238. 
Greetland, 22, 60, 63, 123, 232. 
Greetland : Toll Bar, 225. 
Grey, Earl, 252. 
Grimshaw of Haworth, 199. 
Grindall, Archbishop, 103. 
Grindlestone Bank, Ovenden Wood, 

78, 127, 138. 
Grove Street, 261. 
Guest, General, 186. 

Haigh, George of Copley Gate, 235, 

Haigh House, Warley, 129. 

Haley Hill, 220, 256-7, 259, 261, 

Halifax Brook, 16, 225. 

Halifax, Capital of Cloth Industrv, 

Halifax : Cleanest of Manufactur- 
ing Towns, 240. 

Halifax, Lord, 252. 

Halifax Moor, 158. 

Halifax, Name of, iii. 

Halifax Parish and Yorkshire, Com- 
parison of Shape, 9. 

Hall End, 178. 

Hall Ing. 76. 

Hallgate, Cecilia, 26. 

Hamerton, Philip Gilbert, 208, 231, 

Hamilton, Marquis of, 161. 

Hampden, John, 139 

Hardy, William, 80. 

Hanging in Chains, 195. 

Hanson Arms : Back Hall, 120. 

Hanson, Arthur, Brighouse, 165. 

Hanson, Gilbert, 96. 

Hailson, John, 85. 

Hanson, William, 47. 

Hardcastle Crags, 13, 219-20. 

Harewood House, 210. 

Hargreaves of Blackburn, 236. 

Harrison, Major General, 161. 

Harrod Well : Highroad Well, 227. 

Harrogate, 145, 229. 

Hartley, 166. 



Hartley, David, Coiner, 190-4. 

Hartley, Isaac, Coiner, 190-4. 

Hartley, Samuel, Luddite, 246, 

Hathershelf, 155. 

Haugh End, Sowerby, 174-5. 

Haugh Shaw, 16, 266. 

Haugh Shaw House, 129, 

Hawksclough, 237. 

Haworth, 198. 

Haworth, Roger of, 25. 

Hazlehurst, Shibden, 209. 

Heath Grammar School, 107-0, 113, 

164, 174. . 
Heaton, Henry of, 48. 
Heaton, Robert, 201. 
Hebble Brook, 16, 224, 225. 
Hebden Stream, 86, 154-5, 158, 

191, 198, 199, 217-8, 219, 220, 

227, 230, 232, 255. 
Heights Road, 227. 
Hebden Valley, 13, 14. 
Henry VI., 71. 
Henry VIII., 89-101. 
Henryson, William, 48. 
Heptonstall, 15, 17, 48, 80, 84, 96, 

154 159, 189, 197, 200, 217-18. 
Heptonstall Chapel, 37, loi. 
Heptonstall Garrison, 164. 
Heptonstall, Manor of, 32, 33. 
Hey wood, Lancashire, 153. 
Hey wood, Oliver, 121, 168, 172, 

Highroad Well, 155, 193. 227. 
High Road Well Moor, 16. 
High royd (Eroyd), 19. 
High Sunderland, 56, 62, 6-1., 65, 78, 

119, 120, 163. 
Hill, Samuel, 179,-183, 188, 221. 
Hill Population, 15. 
Hill Top : Cragg, 196. 
Hills, and Road Construction, 229. 
Hipperholme, 16, 17, 26, 27, 43, 46, 

54, 59, 85, 116, 136, 148, 163, 

185, 253. 
Hodgekins, Halifax Clothier, 28, 

Hodgson, Captain John, 142-163. 
Holdsworth Chapel, 70, 74, 89, 95. 
Holdsworth House, 28. 
Holdsworth : Surname, 81. 

Holdsworth, John, 86. 

Holdsworth, Vicar Robert, 94-102. 

Holland, 200. 

Hollins, The, Warley, 129, 156. 

" Holme," 208. 

Holmes, Mrs., 198. 

Holroyd, Joseph, 188. 

Holy Face, legend, 33. 

Holy Hair, iii. 

Holyhead, 228. 

Hoo Hole, 196. 

Hope Hall, 211. 

Hopwood Hall, 209, 211. 

Hopwood Lane, 260. 

Horley Green, 56, 138. 

Horner, John, 211, 238. 

Horsfall of Marsden. 246-7. 

Horsfall, Lieutenant, T44. 

Horton, Joshua of Sowerby, 165. 

Horton Street, 250. 

" House at the Maypole," 59-60. 

Housing : Timber Houses, 56-66. 

Hove Edge : Spout House, 186. 

Howroyd, Barkis and, 123. 

Huddersfield, 39 80, 177, 201, 246, 

Hull, 103, 138-9, 150, 221, 222, 224. 
Hunter Hill, 158. 
Huntingdon, Ear] of, 105. 

Illingworth, 15, 27. 84, 87, 135. 
Illingworth Chapel, 167. 
Illingworth Edge, 87, 88. 
Illingworth, Moor. 235. 
Industrial Revolution, 215-220. 
Inn Yards : Coaching. 231. 
Inventions, Great, 236-40. 
Ireland, 89, 224. 
Irish Massacre of 1641. 141. 
Isle of Wight. 232. 

Jackroyd, 19. 
Jackson, John, 47. 
Jacobites, 186. 
Jagger, 191. 

Jumble Hole Clough, 220. 
Jumples Beck, 224. 
Jumples Mill, 88, 239. 

Kay's Fly Shuttle, 238. 



Keelham, 196. 

Keighley, 130, 133, 159, 200, 259. 

Keighley Road, 229. 

Kent, 177. 

Kershaw House, Luddenden, 118, 

119, 130. 
Kershaw's Power Looms, 239, 251. 
Kildwick, 200. 
King Cross, 153, 158. 
King Cross Lane, 209, 260. 
" King David " : David Hartley, 

Coiner, 190-4 
King, John, vicar, 68. 
King, William, of Skircoat, 106. 
Kingsley, Charles, 266. 
Kirkburton, 26. 
Kirklees, 224. 

Kirk Sandal, Doncaster, 64, 89. 
Knaresborough, 161. 
Knight, Titus, 199, 242. 
Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, 

27, 42. 
Knowl Top, Lightcliffe, 209. 

Labourers, Statute of, 45. 

Lacy, John, 22, 30, 46, 73, 98-99, 

Lacy, Thomas, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42. 

Lake Country, 185. 

Lake, John. 168. 

Lancashire, 71, 142, 186. 222, 227, 

229, 255. 
Lancaster, 196, 204. 
Lancaster, Earl of, 38. 
Lane Head, Brighouse, 40. 
Lanehead, Ogden, 201, 240. 
Langdale, Sir Marmaduke, 163. 
Langfield, 17, 21. 
Langfield, Henry, 46. 
Langfield, Thomas of, 25, 
Latham of Coley, 142. 
Learoyd, Richard, 106. 
Lee Bank, 27, 85, 260, 261. 
Lee, Job, 258. 
Leeds, 80, 81, 103, 138, 139, 141- 

151, 177-8, 200-1, 221, 227, 

229, 231-2, 240, 247. 
Leeds Railway, 259. 
Lee House, Ovenden Wood, 115. 
Lewes, Monks from, 37, 55. 
Lewes, Prior of, 44, 76, 94. 

Lewes, Priory of, 32, 34, 35, 89, 99, 

Leyland, F. A., 240. 
Leyland, Halifax Sculptor, 102. 
Libraries, 211-15, 266. 
Library, " Public," at Parish Churchy 

III, 166. 
Lightcliffe, loi, 198, 209. 
Lightcliffe Church, 224. 
Lilly Bridge, 209. 
Limed House, Shibden, 238. 
Limers Gates, 208. 
Lincolnshire,. Rebellion in, 97. 
Linen Hall, 177. 
Lister, 78, 138, 186. 
Lister, Bartholomew, 53. 
Lister, Jeremy, 185. 
Lister, John, 19, 30, 32, 38, 59, 80, 

82, 102, 188. 
Lister, John, of Upper Brear, 165. 
Lister, Joseph, 141, 15 1-2. 
Lister Lane, 262. 
Lister, Miss., 153, 224, 239, 240, 

Lister, Richard, 48. 
Lister, Robert, 48. 
Lister, William, 87, 88. 
Lister Road, 229. 
Literature, Cheap : William Milner, 

Liverpool, 231. 

Liversedge, Cavalry from, 247. 
Lockwood of Lockwood, 39, 40, 41, 

Logarithms, " Briggian," no. 
London, 55, 79, 200, 228, 231, 232. 
Long Can, Ovenden Wood, 119, 129, 

Long Causeway, 155, 159, 227. 
Looms, Power. 238-9. 
Lord Nelson Inn, Luddenden, 138. 
Lowe, Robert of, 26. 
Luddenden, 118, 138, 155, 158, 218. 
Luddenden Chapel, 85, 134, 167. 
Luddenden Bridge, 86. 
Luddenden Dean, 13, 127, 155, 170. 
Luddenden Foot, 109, 218, 227, 228. 
" Ludd, General," 245-9. 
Luddites, 245-9. 
I-umb Beck, 218. 



Lumb Falls, 226. 

Macadam, 228. 
McDonald, Police Spy, 247. 
Maceroni on Pike Warfare, 253. 
Machinery in Textile Trades, "217. 
Machinery, Objections to, 236. 
Machinery Riots, 251. 
Machon-House, 76. 
Mackworth, Sir Francis, 152-g. 
Magna Via, 155. 

Making Place, 179-180, 211, 221. 
Malt Shovel Inn, Mytholmroyd, 

Manchester, 142, 153, 231-2, -^47-8 
Manchester and Leeds Railway, 

Manchester Massacre, 250. 
Mankinholes, 25, 66. 
Manor Courts, 23, 26. 
Market, Halifax, 174. 
Marsh, Dr., Vicar, 167. 
Marsh Hall, Northowram, 124. 
Mary, Princess, Baptism of, 90. 
Marstpn Moor, 159. 
Meadowcroft, Dorothy, 152. 
Mellor, George, Luddite, 246, 249. 
Merchant Adventurers, 60, 79. 
Metcalfe, John : " Blind jack," 

Midgley, 15, 17, 21, 52, 85, 155, 193, 

197, 227. 
Midgley, William of, 25. 
Mildmay, Captain, 147. 
Militia Ballot, 188. 
Milk Trade, 235. 
Mill Bank, 58. 
Mill Chimneys, 82. 
Mill near Blackshaw Head, 219. 
Mills, Early Halifax. 83, 84. 
Milner, Hugh, John, etc., 47, 48. 
Milner, Robert the, 78. 
Milner, William, Publisher, 254. 
Milnes, Charles, Luddite, 248. 
Mirfield, William of, 45. 
Mitchell, Anthony, Sowerby, 168, 

Mitchell, Matthew and Jonathan, 

Mixenden, 158, 229, 239. 

Mixenden Beck, 224. 

Mixenden : the Fold, 124. 

Mixenden Green, 138. 

Monasteries Closed, 99. 

Money, Weighing, 189. 

Moot Hall, 23, 73, 76. 

Moor End, 159. 

Mottoes on Old Homes, 121. 

Mount Pleasant, 261. 

Mount Skip, 155. 

Mount Zion, Ogden, 199. 

Mulcture Hall, 124, 160. 

Municipal Government, 265. 

Murgatroyd, 19. 

Murgatroyd, James, 129-133, 138, 
139, 156. 

Museum, British : Edwards' Bind- 
ings, 215. 

Museums, 266. 

Myleas Place, 76. 

Mytholm, 185, 208, 

Mytholmroyd, 15, 52, 125, 152, 191, 
193. 195. 207, 209, 217, 227. 

Names, Place, 19, 76, 220. 
Names : Surnames, 43-50. 
Napier, General Charles, 253. 
Napoleon, Peace with, 203. 
Naseby, Battle of, 160. 
Navy, Halifax objects to support, 

Navy: Hawke and Rodney, 221. 
Nether Field, 17. 
New Bridge, 219. 
New England, Puritans and, 140. 
New Hall, Elland, 118, 123, 124. 
New-House, 76. 
Newlands, 155. 
Newlands Gate, 193. 
New Town, 220, 251. 
Nicholl, Robertson, 254. 
Norfolk, Duke of, 91. 
Norland, 15, 17, 27, 85, 127, 217-8. 
Norland Hall, 62, 63, 66, 78, 118, 

Norland, John of, 45, 80. 
Norland Lower Hall, 124. 
Normanton, 259. 
Normanton, Matthew, 193-5. 



North Bridge, 53, 78, 220, 260. 

North Dean, 250. 

" Northern Star," 254. 

North Field, 17. 

Northgate, 256, 258. 

Northgate End Chapel, 260. 

Northgate Hotel Yard, 231. 

Northowram, 13, 16, 17, 48, 85, 184, 

Northowram : Marsh Hall, 124. 
Norwich, 137. 
Nottingham, 141, 245. 

Oaksroyd, 209. 

Oastler, Richard, 244. 

O'Connor, Fergus, 253, 254. 

Octagon Tower, 268. 

Oddy, H. R., 60, 73. 

Ogden, 56, 184, 199, 225, 240. 

Ogden Brook, 224-5. 

Ogden Reservoir, 239, 263. 

Old Bank, 53, 148, 160. 

Old Cock Inn, 123, 191. 

Old Cock Yard, 231. 

Old Crispin Inn, 245. 

Old Earth, 42. 

Oldfield, 139. 

Oldfield, James, 194. 

Old Lane, 240, 258. 

Old Lane Mill, 240. 

Old Market, 60, 98. 

Old St. Paul's, London, 134. 

Open Fields, 17, 76, 233, 234. 

Orange Street, 220. 

Orphanage, 265. 

Otes of Holdsworth, 48. 

Otes, Robert, 76. 

Oteson, John, 47. 

Ouram Hall, Shibden, 78. 

Ovenden, 16, 17, 27, 85, 87, 88, 129, 

160, 200, 229, 234. 
Ovenden Hall, 116, 177. 
Ovenden, Mill near, 238. 
Ovenden Railway, 259. 
Ovenden, Ralph of, 26. 
Ovenden, Richard oi, 44. 
Ovenden Wood, 78, 115, 127, 129- 

132, 158, 224. 
Ovenden Wood Brook, 87, 
Over Nabroyd, 63. 

Pack Horses, 53, 54, 86, 177, 178, 
185, 204, 207, 208, 215. 223. 

Pack Saddle and Pillion, 228. 

" Painter's Camp," 270. 

Parish Children in Factories, 243. 

Parish Church, 31, 32, 33, 38, 42, 
53. 55. 59, 66-78, 89-102, 104, 
105, III, 113, 116. 135, 153, 
160, 165-168, 174, 207, 245, 
260, 263. 

Parish of Halifax, 15, 56, 113. 

" Park, The," 261. 

Park, People's, 265, 271. 

Park Street, 261. 

Parliament, First Member of, 165. 

Parliamentary Borough of 1832, 

Patchett, Gregory, 138. 
Peck, Richard, 78. 
Peel House, Warley, 125. 
Peep Green, Hartshead, 253. 
Pellon Lane, 260. 
Pellon Lane Chapel, 207, 220. 
Pendle, 200. 
Penrith, 161. 
People's Charter, 252. 
Persecution, Religious, 105. 
Peterloo, 250-1. 
Petticoat Lane, 168. 
Piece Hall, 199-204. 
Pilgrimage of Grace, 97. 
" Pilgrimage of Mercy," 244. 
Pilkington, Bishop, 103. 
Pillion, 228. 
Pineapple Hotel, 209. 
Pious Uses Commission, 164. 
Place Names : See under Names. 
Plague in Halifax, 160. 
Plug Riots, 254-7. 
Plymouth, 221. 
Pollard, Mr., 201. 
Poll Tax, 1379, 46, 47, 53. 
Ponden, Stanbury, 201. 
Pontefract, 38, 96. 
Pontefract Castle, 22, 163. 
Pontefract, Honour of, 22. 
Portinari, Giovanni, 100. 
Portsmouth, 138. 
Postage in 1820, 232. 



Post Office : Mail Coaches, 232. 
Post Office Savings Bank, 266. 
Poundal], Major, 161. 
Preachers, Weslevan and other, 

Presbyterians, 140. 
Preston Battle, 161. 
Priestley, John, 173. 
Priestley, Joseph, 152, 154, 158, 

Ptiestley, Luke, 232. 
Priestley, Samuel, 143. 
Priestley, Tom, 177, 182. 
Princess Street, 224. 
Printing Press, 224. 
Pudsey, 141. 
Punishments, 26. 
Puritans, 103, 139, 164, 167-168. 
Pye Nest, 210, 

Quarmby Hall, 39. 

Quarmby, Hugh of, 39, 40, 41, 42. 

Queensbury, 56, 227, 253, 259. 

Railways, 259-60. 

Ramsden, Robert of Stoneyroyd, 

Range Bank, 56, 227. 
Rastrick, Henry of, 48. 
Rastrick, 15, 16, 17, 43, 84, loi, 

135. 218. 
Rawfold Mill, Attack on, 247, 249. 
Records Office, Public, 80. 
Recreation Ground : Savile Park, 

Rectors, 34, 35. 
Reform Act, 251. 
Reformers : Peterloo, 250. 
" Religio Medici," 136. 
Religious Bequests, 84. 
Rendurer Place, 76. 
Rentals in Halifax, 78. 
Reservoirs, 263. 
" Revenge upon Revenge " : lilland 

Feud, 38. 
Revey Beacon, 102. 
Riding, 73. 
Riding, William, 96. 
Richard, Duke of York, 71. 
Richard the Nailer, 185. 

Rmgby, 115. 

Riot Act Read, 256. 

Riots, 250-1. 

Riots, Plug, 254-7. 

Ripon, 81, 161. 

Ripponden, 168, 229. 

Rishworth, 17. 

Rishworth Family, 120. 

Rising in the North, 103. 

Road, Great, to and from Halifax. 

Roads, 53, 54, 85, 215-232. 
Roads, Repair of, 136. 
" Robinson Crusoe," 178. 
Rochdale, 141, 142, 152. 154 
Rochdale Canal, 222. 
Rochdale Road, 227. 
Rockingham, Marquis of, .194 
Rodeman, William, 99. 
Roebucks, Warley, 22. 
Roger the Fuller, 43. 
Roils Head, 153. 
Rokeby, Archbishop, 89-102. 
Rokeby, Archbishop W., Arms of, 

Rokeby Chapel, 90, 93. 
Roote, Henry, 153, 168, 172. 
Roote, Timothy, 172. 
Rose and Crown Inn, 178. 
Roses, Wars of the, 71, 73. 
Royds, John, 194. 
Royd's House, George Street, 210. 
Rufford Abbey, 267. 
Rushton, Ben, 255. 
Russell Street, 168. 
Russia, 224. 
Ryburn, 218. 

St. Bartholomew's Fair, 80, 82. 

St. Crispin Inn, 245-8. 

St. John, Order of, 27. 

St. Joseph's School, Southowram. 

Sanitation, Lack of prior to 1848, 

Sakeldene, 25. 
Salterhebble, 222, 256. 
Salterhebble Brook, 225. 
Saltonstall, 13, 48. 
Saltonstall, William of, 25. 



Sandal Parish, 71, 170. 

Sand Hall, Highroad Well, 196. 

Savile, Henry, 87, 96, 98, 109-111. 

Savile, Captain Henry, 267. 

Savile, John, 46. 

Savile, Sir John, 145. 

Savile, Jonathan, 242. 

Savile, Sir William, 143, 158. 

Savile Badge, 97. 

Savile Close, 193. 

Savile Park, 265, 267. 

Saviles, 42, loi. 

Scenery, 230-1, 233, 270. 

Scholefield, Jonathan, 144. 

Scott, Sir Gilbert, 266. 

Scout Hall, 121. 

Seedlings Mount : Sydell-ing, 17 

Selby, 142. 

Sentry Edge, 153, 158. 

Services charged to Rent, 27. 

Settle, 204. 

Settlers, Early, 13. 

Shackleton, 48. 

Shakehand Brig, 85. 

Sharpe, Mr., 151. 

Shaw Booth, 169-70. 

Shaw Hill, 107, 119, 256. 

Shaw Lodge Mills, 260. 

Shaw Syke, 16, 237, 259, 266. 

Shay, The, 78, 199. 

" Shears, The," 237. 

Shelf, 17, 45, 84, 85. 

Shepherd, John and Alice, 49. 

Shepherd, Thomas, 24. 

Shibden, 49, 56, 78, 127, 153, 184, 

209, 238. 
Shibden Beck, 16. 
Shibden Coal pits, 185, 199, 242. 
Shibden Fold, 56. 
Shibden Hall, 16, 56, 59-61, 78, 100, 

126, 138, 152, 186, 208. 
Shibden Industrial School, 229. 
Shields, Frederic, 270-1. 
Ship Money, 137-9. 
Siddal, 38, 119-121. 
Siddal Hall, 184. 
Simm Carr, 184. 
Skipton, 161, 200. 
Skipton Castle, 131, 
Skircoat, 16, 17, 85, 107, 218. 

Skircoat Freeholders, 265-7. 
Skircoat Green, 250, 253. 
Skircoat Moor, 234, 256, 266-7. 
Skylderyforth, 76. 
Slaughter Gap, 159. 
Smeaton, Engineer, 221. 
Smith House, I.ightcliffe, 199. 
Smithson, John, 47. 
Smithy Stake, 136. 
Soil Hill, 56, 184, 186, 235. 
Somerset House, George Street, 194. 
Sour Milk Hall, 242. 
Southampton, 105. 
South Field, 76. 
Southgate, 17, 154, 225.* 
Southowram, 16, 17,' 22, 102, 115, 

136, 140, 184, 237, 252. 
Southowram Bank, 251, 261. 
South Parade, 209. 
South Street : Architecture, 209- 

Sowerby, 15, 17, 21, 25, 46, 48, 80, 

84, 85, loi, 125, 127, 128, 140, 

155, 158, 161, 165, 168, 174-6, 

200, 217-9, 220, 228. 
Sowerby Bridge, 86, 135, 153, 158, 

160, 172, 189, 217-222, 259. 
Sowerby Chapel, 167. 
vSowerby Constables, Account Book 

of, 140. 
Sowerby shire, 55. 
Soyland, 15, 17, 143, 152, 158, J79- 

183, 200. 211, 229. 
Spencer, Thomas, 26, 193, 193. 
Spen Valley, 246. 
Spice Cake Lane, 209. 
Spinning, 50, 203-5, 236. 
Spring Gardens, 115. 
Spring Hall Lane, 236. 
Square, 209. 
Square Chapel, 199, 207, 209, 242 

Stainland, 17, 233. 
Stanbury, 201. 
Stancliffe, Richard, 85. 
Stanford, John of, 45. 
Stannary, 260. 
Stannery End, 191, 193, 207. 
Stansfield, 17, 21, 25, 84, 200. 
Stansfield, Thomas, 80. 



Steam Engine, 239-40. 

Stephenson, Hugh, 52. 

Stiperden, 159. 

Stockdale, Thomas, 145-6, 149c 

Stone Dam Mill, 78. 

Stoneshey Gate, 197. 

Stoney Royd, 16, 19, 165, 209, 212. 

Stott, Engraver, 270. 

Street Names, 261. 

Stuart Rebellion, 186-188. 

Stump Cross : Toll Bar, 225. 

Sturbridge Fair, Cambridge, 80. 

Styhog, John, 25. 

Suffolk, 177. 

Suffolk, Duke of, 91. 

Sugden, 141. 

Sunderland, 48, 120. 

Sunderland, High : See under High. 

Sunderland, Langdale, 163. 

Sunderland, Richard of High, 52. 

Sunny Bank, Greetland, 60, 63. 

Surnames : See Names. 

Surrey, Earl of : William of Warren, 

Sutcliffe, Gamwel, 189. 
Sutton-in-Craven, 200. 
Swales Moor, 56, 221, 224, 227. 
'Swendall, 237. 
Swerd, Peter, 25, 66. 
Swine Market, 270. 
Swires Road, 193. 

Tadcaster, 142, 150. 

Talbot Inn, 194, 221. 

Talbot, Major, 148. 

Talbots, 71. 

Talvace, John, 34. 

Taxes, 26, 46, 137-9- 

Taylor, Captain, 156. 

Taylor, Dan, 242. 

Telford, 228. 

Tempest, Sir Richard, 96, 98-99. 

Tempest Badge, 97. 

Ten Hours Bill, 244. 

Theft : Punishment under Gibbet 

Law, 28. 
Thomas, Robert, 193-5. 
Thomas, William, 204. 
Thompson, Fiddler, 242. 
Thompson, Mr., 159. 

Thornhill, 96, 98. 

Thornhill of Fixby Hall, 244. 

Thornton, William, 253. 

Thursden, 207. 

Tilley-holme, 20S. 

Tillotson, Archbishop John, 174-6. 

Tillotson, John : Luddite, 248, 249. 

Tillotson, Robert, 174. 

Timber Houses, 57. 

Tinker, Richard the, 25. 

Tithes, 33, 100. 

Todmorden, 197, 227, 228, 230, 244. 

Toll Bar Houses and Tolls, 225-7, 

Token, Tradesman's, 178. 
" Top o' th' Town," 17. 
" Top-o' t' Town Chapel," 260. 
Tossit, 204. 

" Tour through Great Britain," 178. 
Tournay, 96. 

Tourn (Criminal Court), 24. 
Tower, Octagon, 268. 
Town Council, 265. 
Town, Growth of, 260-3. 
Town Gates, 17. 
Townley, 40. 

Townships, Boundaries of, 16, 17. 
Trade, Foreign : Sam Hill, 179-183. 
Trade, Growth of, 78. 
Trade, Local, 112. 
Trade : See under Wool, Worsted, 

Cloth, etc. 
Trafalgar, 260. 
Transport, 2 1 5-32. 
Triangle, 229, 250. 
Trooper Lane, 160. 
Tuel Lane, 228. 
Turbard, Ingelard, 35. 
Turner, J. M. W., 213. 
Turnpike Roads, 226-32, 257 
Twining, Thomas, 233. 

Ulnager's Accounts, 80, 81. 

Uniformity, Act of, 172. 

Union Cross Yard, 231. 

Upper and Lower George Yards. 

Upper Brear, 56, 165. 
Upper Rookes, 124. 
Upper Saltonstall, 124. 



Upper Siddal Hall : Coal Mine, 183. 
Upper Willow Hall, 129, 130. 

Victoria Reservoir, 263. 

View of Halifax, 17th Century, 145. 

Volunteers, 25 t, 266. 

Wade, General, 186-188. 

Wadsworth, 15, 17, 21, 208, 233. 

Wadsworth, Adam of, 25. 

Wadsworth Lanes, 155. 

Wages, Regulation of, 45. 

Wainhouse, J. E., 267. 

" Wainhouse's Folly," 268. 

Wainhouse Terrace, 268-9. 

Wainsgate, 199. 

Wakefield, 26, 27, 53, 55, 80, 81, 96, 

103, 136, 140, 142-145, 155, 170, 

178, 224, 228, 231-2. 
Wakefield, Battle of, 71. 
Wakefield Court Roll, 30, 35, 38, 

43. 45- 
Wakefield, Manor of, 21, 32, 33, 185. 
Wakefield Prison, 256. , 

Wales, Mr., 141. 
Walker, 52. 

Walker of Walterclough, 237. 
Walker, William, 224. 
Wallis, 28. 

Walpole, Henry, 105. 
Walshaw Dean Reservoir, 263. 
Walters, Hubert, 34. 
Waltroyd, 19, 87, 204-8. 
Wards End, 209, 225, 251. 
Warley, 16, 17, 21, 25, 49, 85, 127, 

129, 138, 153, 155, 156, 188, 200, 

Warley, Nicholas of, 25. 
Warley Wood, 109. 
Warren, Earls of, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32, 

34. 38, 39, 55. 89. 
Warren, John of, Earl of Surrey, 

13, 20, 22, 23, 24. 
Warren Shield, .21. 
Washer Lane Dyeworks, 268. 
Waterhouse, 139. 
Waterhouse, Mistress Dorothy, 166. 
Waterhouse, Gilbert, 100. 
Waterhouse, John, 72, 86. 

Waterhouse, Nathaniel, 134-136, 

Waterhouse, Robert, 99, 100. 
Waterside, 209. 
Water Supply, 263. 
Water Wheel : Simm Carr, 1 84 . 
Water-wheels, 219, 237. 
Watson, 178, 209-10, 230, 235. 
Weaving, Hand, 50, 203-5. 
Webster, 51-52. 
Webster, Thomas. 43. 
Well Head, 78, 165. ^ 
Wentworth, Lieutenant Colonel, 153. 
Wentworth Woodhouse, 194, 2 to. 
Wesley, John, 196-199, 233. 
Wesleyan Revival, 242. 
Westgate, 262. 
West Hill Park, 261. 
Westminster Abbey, Wolsey at, 89. 
Westm oreland , 71. 
West wood, Avicia, Wife of Thomas 

of, 25. 
Wetherby, 231. 
Wharf e, 222. 

Wharf Street, Sowerby Bridge, 222. 
Whatmough, Robert, token of, 178. 
Wheatley, 17, 85, 87, 204-7, 220, 

229, 239. 
Whipping-stock, 134. 
Whitaker, Richard, of Skircoat, 

White-House, 76. 
White Swan Inn, 231-2. 
White Windows, 210. 
Whittaker, Dr., 220. 
Whittaker, Dr. : Prophecy on Coal, 

Whittle Lane End, 42. 
Widdop, 155, 197, 231, 263, 270. 
Wigglesworth, 204. 
Williamson, Abraham and John, 

168, 170. 
Williamson, John, 153. 
Wilkinson, Vicar, 60, 71-72, 83. 
Willebv, John, and Chantry Chapel, 

Willow Hall, 129. 
Willow Hall, Lower, 131. 
Willow Hall, Upper, 129, 130. 
Willroyd, 19. 



Wilson, Benj., 250, 257. 

Wilson, Robert, 189. 

Wiscombe Bank, 148. 

Wolf stones, 23. 

Wolsey, Cardinal, 89-92. 

Wood, Charles, 252. 

Wood Lane Hall, Sowerby, 116, 125. 

Wood, Richard, 87. 

Woolcombing, 199-207. 

" Wool Driving," 112. 

Woollen Trade, 49, 78-88, 1 12-13, 

Woolshops, 63. 

Workhouse, Governors of, 164. 
Workhous*, Waterhouse's, 13^. 

Working Men's College, 266. 
Worsted Manufacture, 179-183, 

236, 258. 
Wortley, James Stuart, 252. 
Wrigley Hill, 235. 
Wroe, John, 47. 
" Wuthering Heights," 208. 
WycoUar, 207-8. 

Yew Tree, 130-132. 

York, 25, 34, 43, 55, 82, 105. 144, 

168, 173, 185, 193, 206, 223, 231, 

239, 244. 
York Castle, 191. 
Yorkshire Penny Bank, 266. 




This book is due on the last date stamped below, or 

oo the date to which renewed. 

Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. 


f^'^rro L.O 

fV'OV 10 ©59 




LD 21A-50m-4,'59 

General Library . 
University of California 

Seb Pages 1516 and 84-85. 




Old Chapels marked *t 

N8HIP IS NOT Bounded by a Stream, the Dotted Line denotes the Boundary.